I started having Braxton Hicks contractions at sixteen weeks pregnant with the quintuplets. I was not informed to go on any type of bed rest, adjust activities, or “take it easy” even though I reported the contractions to the doctor. At 2130 on 30 Mar 14 (20w3d pregnant), I started having stronger more frequent contractions. I went to the hospital where I was supposed to deliver an hour away but they said they would not intervene to stop contractions until twenty-four weeks (viability point). This was just a start of a horrific experience with this MFM doctor and the hospital that night. After this incident, I realized this hospital would not intervene and would not be prepared to handle my cesarean section. A quintuplet cesarean consists of a minimum of a neonatologist, respiratory therapist, NICU nurse, and NICU technician per baby. This is in addition to the anesthesiologist, two physicians, scrub nurses, and scrub technicians assisting with my part of the cesarean section. There was absolutely no way they could have gotten this team together when needed quickly! It is imperative the babies get out quickly from the time the first to the last is born and have appropriate teams ready. The delivery of all babies should be done in under two minutes to prevent complications to the babies since my body starts going into shock. The team must also be effective. We decided on our way home, we had to do something, otherwise, we would have a very poor outcome for my health and the babies’ health. Thus, affecting our entire family. This incident happened on Sunday night.
We contacted Dr. John Elliott Monday morning, and asked if he would still accept me as a patient. He said yes as long as we arrived in AZ quickly. I immediately requested my records. With this pregnancy especially, stress causes contractions. I started preparing for this rapid change of events. Stress made the contractions significantly worse. My husband, tried to take care of as many logistic things and find out our options on Monday.
On 4 April 14, I arrived at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, AZ and became Dr. Elliott’s patient. Upon arrival, I was having strong contractions. They intervened and stopped contractions. I was also found to have two infection, was severely underweight for a quintuplet pregnancy (I only gained 29lbs in 21 weeks. I should have gained 60lbs total by 24 weeks and 80-100 total over the entire pregnancy), and my cervical length was getting shorter. All of these aspects were missed in my prior prenatal appointments and OB triage visit. Since being here, I get monitored often, interventions given for contractions, and am gaining weight. I had a cerclage done and my cervix is getting longer each week. As of 26 May 14, it was averaging to be 2.7 (normal is 3-5 for any pregnancy). I still do have runs of contractions. At 22w1d, I had contractions that showed on the monitor coming every 5 minutes. I received a Turbutelene injection and contractions were better. Had I not had this simple intervention, the contractions would have become more frequent and I would have delivered the babies too soon. My previous doctor/hospital would not have given this one shot since I was not 24 weeks yet. At 23 w5d, I had a cerclage placed to help my shortening cervix. I was on Magnesium Sulfate for six dys at this point. I also have recived two rounds of steroid injections to help the babies' lungs mature. Due to constant care and interventions as needed, the babies are more than thriving. They have me seeing a nutritionist and on a 7000 calorie day diet to make up some deficiencies from my previous MFM doctor on my weight gain. At 27w4d, the babies’ weights ranged from 2lbs 3oz-2lbs 9oz. A single baby weighs about 2lbs at this time and statistically multiples weigh less than single babies at the same gestation. They also all have been getting 8/8 on their biophysical profiles. I am currently 29w3d and have a Cesarean section date in early July set up (34 weeks roughly) The difference between my previous MFM doctor’s goal of 27 weeks to Dr. Elliott’s goal of 34 weeks is night and day in a premature infant. This is for both viability statistics, and long-term disability statistics and is especially true with higher order multiples.
So far I have been in the hospital 58 days on bed rest. It's totally worth it for five babies lives! The hardest part about being on hospital bed rest alone in a state you have never been to is feeling like I am neglecting my Mommy roles to my older son. I know it is temporary and for the betterment of everybody the healthy the babies are; however, it is still difficult. Luckily, it is almost over and modern technology is great for us remaining close during a time of physical distance.
Gender reveal picture at seventeen weeks! Four girls and one boy are baking! Purple top 25 weeks. Blue tank top 26 weeks!