Sunday, July 20, 2008

Remembering the Birth...

Picture of the board in my hospital room, exactly one year ago today. Most days is it hard to remember the time when my goals for the day were to finish watching Gilmore Girls and start on Season 1 of Alias!

A few months ago, I decided I better write down all my memories of the babies births before I started forgetting the little details. Now that the babies are just 11 days away from their first birthday, I thought it was a good time to put the finishing touches on the story and share it! It is amazing how much has happened in the last year. Looking at the babies now, it is hard to believe that they were ever that small!

Birth Story

Preparing for the C-section was an all-night process. First the area around where the c-section would take place had to be shaved. Then, I had to take a “cleansing” bath to get rid of any bacteria that might be present. Around midnight they came to put in not one, but two IV’s. Apparently I have really crooked veins, because it took three nurses four tries on one arm and two tries on the other arm to get it right. Then it was time for another cleansing bath (just in case anything was missed the first time). I also had my final weigh-in. In all, I gained 69 pounds during the pregnancy, and I was 54 inches around. I am only 62 inches tall, so I was nearly as big around as I am tall.

My mom and I measuring my tummy, the day before delivery.

At 5:00 am Jayson showed up. Originally, they had told me that I would be taken down to Labor and Delivery at that time, but we talked them into letting us stay upstairs a little longer to try to get some sleep (yeah right---I don’t think I slept more than a few minutes the whole night). Despite the fact that millions of people have c-sections, I was still nervous about the procedure. I was also anxious to meet the little people that I had been carrying for the past seven months, and I was praying that everything would be all right with them.

Around 6:30 am, the nurses came to take me down to the Labor and Delivery area. When I got there, my mom and aunt Jeanie were already there waiting for us. Jayson, Jeanie and my mom all donned scrubs and hair nets to get ready for the delivery.

My mom, Jayson and my Aunt Jeanie--Don't they look cute??

Around 7:15, Riley, Kaiya, my dad, my cousins and my Aunt Kathy arrived. Riley and Kaiya were so excited. They would all be in a special waiting room with TV screens showing the babies after they were born.

Aunt Kathy, Ashlyn, Kiera, Riley, Jeanie, Erika, Kaiya, BrieAnne, Jayson, my Dad

Dr. Elliott came in to check on me. He had been with his family on vacation and flew in the night before to be there for the delivery. He asked me if I wanted to wait just 5 more days so I could break the quintuplet gestation record. I told him, “NO!!!”. I was so ready to have those babies! (after the delivery we discovered that I had all the symptoms of preeclampsia except for high-blood pressure, so I probably wouldn't have made it five more days anyway)

Dr. Park, Me and Dr. Elliott

Finally the nurses came to get me to take me to the delivery. They loaded me into the wheelchair and pushed me down the hall. On the way we were greeted by another nurse, who explained that the room was not yet ready, so we had to turn around and go back. They left me in the wheelchair, thinking that it would only be a few minutes. After ten minutes of sitting, I couldn’t sit in the chair any longer (my tummy was so huge by that point that trying to sit was extremely uncomfortable!) and they helped me back onto the bed. Moments later they came for me again---this time they really were ready.

Me, just before being wheeled to the delivery room.

On the way to delivery! (For real this time!)

The delivery room was packed with people. Each baby required its own team of three people. For myself, there was my doctor (Dr. Elliott), the resident who was performing the delivery (Dr. Park), a fellow doctor from the practice who was assisting, the anesthesiologist, and a couple of nurses. Then there was one still photographer, two videographers, my husband, my mom, my aunt, and even a person whose sole responsibility was to record the babies birth times. (That is at least 29 people!)

The delivery room itself was divided into two parts. The surgery took place in the main room. The other part, sectioned off by glass windows, was where the bassinets waited for the babies.

View of the surgery side of the crowded delivery room.

View of the baby care side of the delivery room.

Once in the delivery room, I met the Anesthesiologist who gave me an epidural. Because I was so large, I had to be numbed from the chest down. This was such a strange sensation. I felt like I was suffocating because I couldn’t feel my chest moving up and down, and yet if I looked at the monitors, I could see that I was breathing just fine. The anesthesiologist was awesome---he just kept reassuring me that everything was fine throughout the entire delivery. After the epidural was in, they laid me down and strapped my arms to a board. At first I thought this seemed unnecessary, but then I realized that I the medication caused me to shake uncontrollably, so having my arms secured was a good idea. At this point, they put up the blue cloth so that I really couldn’t see what was going on.

Me, strapped to the board with the Anesthesiologist by my head.

Jayson came in and sat near my head and held my hand. In his lap, he held his cell phone with his mom on speakerphone so she could hear the delivery. I was surprised when only a few moments later I heard the doctor say they were ready to make the first cut. He called the time at 8:12 am.

Jayson with his mom on speakerphone. (He was so nervous, he actually hung up on her once and frantically had to call her back.)

Five minutes later, at 8:17 a.m. Kassidy was born. I heard her cry, and then moments later Dr. Elliott held her up for me to see. I couldn’t believe it! She looked beautiful and perfect and she was huge! Much bigger than I had imagined in my mind. I couldn’t figure out how five that size could have fit in me. She turned out to be the heaviest of them all. Next to come was Kaydence. She ended up being the smallest of the bunch, in contrast to Kassidy, but she was just as perfectly formed and beautiful. Then Rustin, Kyndall and Ryder followed. As each baby was born, I was amazed and completely overwhelmed with emotions. I was so happy to see all of the babies look so perfect and healthy and I was in awe at the miracle of it all. After all the months of anticipation, it was over in less than three minutes. The doctor held each one up for me to see, then the babies were passed to the nurses who took them into the partitioned room to be checked out by the nurses and doctors in there.

8:17 am Baby A: Kassidy, 5 lbs 1 oz

8:18 am Baby B: Kaydence, 3 lbs 6 oz

8:18 am Baby C: Rustin, 4 lbs 15 oz

8:19 am Baby D: Kyndall, 4 lbs 2 oz

Baby E: Ryder, 3 lbs 15 oz

This picture is a little gross, and yet morbidly fascinating at the same time. This is the bucket where they put all the placentas and umbilical chords.

Once each of the babies had been examined by the doctors and nurses, they bundled them up and let Jayson and my mom hold a couple of them. One of the nurses brought Kaydence over for me to see. Kaydence was so alert and ready to meet the world!

Me with Kaydence

All too quickly it was time for the babies to be moved. Kaydence, Rustin, Kyndall and Ryder were taken to the NICU and Kassidy was big enough and healthy enough to go to the regular baby nursery.

Most of the crowd left with the babies, and I was left with my set of doctors and nurses in the operating room to be sewn back together. Of course I couldn’t see anything that was going on the other side of the curtain, but Dr. Park later told me that they had to take my uterus out and set it on top of my abdomen to massage it and encourage it to start shrinking. After a singleton delivery, the uterus is about the size of a fist. Mine was the size of a football. Dr. Park also said that she put some stitches on my uterus that made it look like it had suspenders.

Once I was sewn back together, they took me back to the recovery room. Ironically, once the surgery was over and I was allowed to eat again, I had absolutely no appetite. It was amazing how much smaller my stomach was. I still looked pregnant (in fact the first thing Kaiya said to me when she saw me after the delivery was, “How come they left a baby in there?”), but I was a lot smaller than I was, and I could actually sit up at a 90 degree angle again!!! Now that the babies were out, my body didn’t know quite what to do, and my kidneys decided to stop working. I was put back on the magnesium sulfate (something I had done my best to avoid the last couple weeks of the pregnancy) and given some other medications to get my kidneys going again.

Before the babies were born, we had five names picked out, but we wanted to wait until after the babies were born to decide which baby would receive which name. I had thought that it would be difficult to assign the names, but it turned out to be very easy. For the girls, my aunt Jeanie had claimed the name Kassidy for the girl with lots of dark hair. (I had lots of dark hair when I was born). The littlest baby at birth was also the feistiest and the most alert and eager to learn how to drink from a bottle. She seemed to “march to the beat of her own drummer” and hence the name Kaydence seemed appropriate, which left the last name, Kyndall. For the boys, the names we had picked were Rustin and Ryder. When one of the boys had red hair, we knew he was supposed to be Rustin, which meant that the other boy would be Ryder.






Dr. Park surprised me by making five birthday cakes—one for each of the babies. Not only did she make five cakes, but they were all different—there was carrot cake, chocolate fudge cake, lemon meringue cake, strawberry cake and confetti cake. Not only is she a great doctor, but she is an awesome cook as well!

Birthday Cakes: Carrot, Chocolate, Lemon Merangue, Confetti and Strawberry

That night my family came back, and together we celebrated the birth of these five beautiful little miracles. It is a day that I will never forget. God has given me an incredible gift. These babies have truly been a blessing to our family, and I know they have blessed the lives of many other people as well.

Wilkinson Family, a few days after the birth.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Quint Olympics--Cheerio Eating Contest

Here is the latest installment of the Quint Olympics featuring the Cheerio Eating Contest. If you missed the first event, toy wrestling, you can see it here.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Fourth of July

Back: Riley, Rachelle, Jayson, Kaiya
Front: Kyndall, Rustin, Ryder, Kaydence, Kassidy

We celebrated the babies first fourth of July with my parents (aka "Mimi" and "Papa") and my younger sister, Tiare (pronounced T-R-E). Tiare just finished her freshman year at BYU and is living with us for July and half of August to help with the babies. Isn't she the BEST???

We started our holiday by taking lots of pictures, because, as we all know, there is some universal law that says:
Matching shirts = Kodak Moment

Ryder, Papa, Rustin Kassidy, Kyndall, Tiare, Kaydence

Papa holding Kassidy, Jayson holding Kaydence, Riley, Kaiya, Rachelle holding Rustin and Ryder, Tiare holding Kyndall

Top: Tiare, Mimi Middle: Riley, Rachelle, Jayson, Kaiya
Front: Kyndall, Rustin, Ryder, Kaydence, Kassidy

Once we exhausted ourselves and the babies taking pictures, we took advantage of the unusually high number of adults (5) and went to the pool. I expected the pool to be packed, but it was amazingly empty, considering it was a holiday.

Jayson, Kyndall, Kaydence, Riley, Ryder, Rachelle Kaiya, Rustin, Kassidy

(sidenote: Riley was awarded "Swimmer of the Week" at Swim Team this week!)


Kassidy probably loved the water more than anyone. She would stay in the floating boat all day if we let her!

Despite his serious expression in this picture, Ryder also loved the water.

Kyndall was a little less excited by the pool, but she didn't mind it.

Tiare with Rustin

Kaydence didn't want anything to do with the water. She preferred to sit with Papa in the shade (who also wanted nothing to do with the water).

After swimming, some friends of ours were brave enough to invite us over for dinner. The babies are usually so excited to be somewhere new, that they actually do pretty well when we take them places. (Kaydence, Kyndall, Ryder, Kassidy, Rustin)

This picture doesn't actually have anything to do with the fourth of July. I just thought it was cute, so I am throwing it in anyway. (Kyndall, Kaydence, Ryder, Kassidy and Rustin)