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Our Quads


My husband and I had to do in-vitro fertilization to have children, that was a given. And we were successful with in-vitro. We put back three embryos and one split, giving us quads. April 17 was the day we found out we were having quads. My husband was so happy and I was so sad. I just had a gut feeling that we were headed for a rollercoaster. And boy did that happen. Not only were we headed for one, we fell off it a few times, were dragged by it a few times and were run over by it a few times also.

On August 16, 2001 at 1:55-1:56 p.m. our quads were born at 23 weeks+1 day, due to PROM (premature rupture of membranes). In birth order: Madison Faith, 1#2, Grace Nicole, 1#1, Lauren Hope, 1#5, and Brayden Douglas, 1#4. They were all vented at birth and whisked away at the speed of light. The next day around 1 p.m. I was wheeled down to the NICU to see my babies, and it was the worst sight I’ve ever seen. The babies were so tiny, how could they live? I just kept asking the nurses, do 23-weekers live? How much hope do I have?

Things started to turn bad for Lauren and at 7 p.m. on August 17 we took her off the vent and she passed away. We had a funeral service for her a couple of days later and then I went back to see my other, living children who I thought would soon follow Lauren. Brayden was the next to pass away and he lived for 3 months, passing away on November 10 due to fungal meningitis. Brayden had a complicated course in the NICU, always having infections, always being “unstable to hold or touch”. He was just a very touchy baby. He was my sweet baby boy.

Madison passed away on April 5, 2002. She passed away from complications from her heart and her lungs. Her little body just fought so hard for to long. We gave her chance after chance and she would always bounce back. We lost her several times in the NICU where she would “code.” And we finally brought her home for 9 days. She was in the hospital for 7 months before she came home. Her last day at home her heart started to slow down, we knew that by the monitors that she was on. Which we then took her back to the hospital. And when we got to the hospital she was satting in the 70’s on 15 liters blow-by. We decided not to vent her again and finally let her go in peace. She fought so hard.

That leaves us with Grace. Boy oh boy what a little fighter she is. When I was pregnant she was the one who was always kicking and moving and she was the one who caused my PROM. Well, no one caused it but her water was the one that broke. Madison and Grace are identical twin sisters. I believe God gave me Grace from Madison. Grace spent 93 days in the NICU coming home at 34.6 weeks gestation. She had a smooth ride in the NICU, never had infections. She just grew and gained weight and that was about it. Now there were times when her lungs were getting bad and she was put on the high-frequency vent just like the other babies, but she soon came off that. She came home weighing 4 lbs. 13 oz.

She is now visually impaired. She has Stage 5 ROP [retinopathy of prematurity] which we have had four surgeries for. She had GERD and she had a fundo/g-tube placed in March [feeding tube]. Right now she is totally dependent on her tube. She is eating teether biscuits and trying different tastes by mush. Therapy-wise. she had occupational therapy, special instruction, speech and she was be receiving physical therapy. She is a very happy baby. I love her so much. She is just a miracle. Thank you for reading my story.

Shauna