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.


Kassidy

Kaydence

Kyndall


Rustin


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.


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58 comments:

Rachel Corbett said...

Amazing! I can't believe it's been a year! It's funny, we all feel so attached to your family and your babies as if we had something to do with them! We love you and hope you never move away!

Sarah said...

Absolutely amazing. God has blessed you so abundantly. I appreciate the singleton pregnancy I am experiencing now even more after reading your birth story. Thanks for sharing your journey so freely as always.

Melissa Spence said...

What an AMAZING birth story! Loved all the photos too. We live south of Austin in Kyle, and when I came upon your blog and found you lived close by I thought that was really neat. I love keeping up with your blog. God definitely blessed you guys with beautiful children. Looking forward to their 1st birthday post!

Stephanie said...

Wow, that was amazing! Thank you for telling that story. You are my hero! I read your blog every once in awhile when I feel overwhelmed with my twins. You are an awesome woman and mother with a great support system. Your family rules!

Amanda said...

I have followed your family on your blog for quite some time but I think this may be the first time I have left a comment. This is truly amazing and I am thankful for your sharing the story. I love to hear about birth stories and of course don't know anyone who has had quints. I can't believe that there 1st birthday's are just around the corner. It truly does go fast!!! You can find me at
www.amanda-familynews.blogspot.com

I can't wait to see the post from the 1st birthday!!!

Amanda

takemetohawaii said...

Wow, that was so fascinating to read. I totally agree that it is a mairacle when any baby is born, but to have 5 perfect and beautiful at the same time is truly a blessing. :) Happy first birthday in a few days!!!

The Queen Vee said...

It was an amazing day filled with many miracles. And now a year later all of you continue to touch our lives and amaze us still. We love you all!

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

That was a beautiful, amazing story. I just listened to your interview on Mommycast and ran right over to visit your site. What an amazing story. I look forward to reading more.

Barbara Manatee said...

So amazing and wonderful that you have so much to document their birth!! I always get sad when I read others' birth stories. I was really sick when my twins had to be delivered so I was put under and my husband wasn't able to be in there. He didn't get to see the babies for an hour and b/c I was so sick, I didn't see them for about 28 hours. I have yet to write my story down (what i know of it) but keep reminding myself to. We have another one on the way now, so I'm praying for a better birth experience.

Happy Birthday babies! And Congrats to your whole family for surviving the first year with 5 babies!

sjc said...

Having had twin daughters (37) and twin g/children (12)- I love reading your blog. Truely you have been very blessed.

Christina said...

Happy Birthday to all of them and what an amazing birth story. Thanks for sharing it. I always prayed for twins LOL

thingsyoudidntdo said...

Thanks for sharing all the details of such a wonderful birth story! Can't believe I've been reading along for over a year now!

Anonymous said...

What a touching post. I cried! You continue to inspire me!

luvreading7 said...

Wow. I could never imagine giving birth to one child, let alone four.

Those cakes look soooo yummy. =3

Laura said...

I loved reading this post! How inspiring it is. The still pictures are amazing. Thanks for sharing it. I have been reading your blog a long time and continue to be amazed at how wonderful you handle everything! Happy early birthday to your crew. What miracles they are. You deserve a medal for getting through that pregnancy and the first year! What a wonderful person you must be.

Collegegirl said...

WONDERFUL story! What sweet miracle babes! Yes they are so cute!!!
Even though the morbid pic of the umbilical cords is different, it is COOL! All of that plus the babies is truely amazing!
~Elyse~

Buggles said...

Wow! What an AMAZING birth story!!

I think I would have tried to wait the extra 5 days to beat the record, but then again I've never been pregnant so I have no idea how I would be feeling at that point.

That is truly amazing that Kassidy was able to go straight to the normal baby nursery!

The picture of all the placentas is gross but fascinating! It's amazing to think that's where 5 babies lived for all them months!

Hilarious! "How come they left a baby in there". I work in a baby shop and we've had this lady coming in for weeks now with his huge belly (bigger than your average baby bump) so I said last time I saw her "How much longer have you got left?" I didnt notice the baby in the carrier on the floor next to her...

Just out of curiosity, could they have taken out like 3 of the babies and left 2 in there if they really wanted to? I mean if they took the 3 heaviest out and left the 2 smallest in there to grow a little longer?

I always thought it was appropriate that Rustin had red hair!

clg0513 said...

what a beautiful story to share. Your family is so adorable and I love reading about all your kiddos. Great photos too!

Crazy Granny said...

I still think that you should have named one of those babies Riker. But I must admit that I couldn't love them anymore then I do now, no matter the name.

withasmile said...

I really enjoyed reading the full story of your babies' births. Thank you so much for sharing and happy birthday (almost) to those little cuties of yours!

Melissa :)
www.withasmile.wordpress.com

Chris said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story and the beautiful photos. You have an absolutely gorgeous family!

Andelin said...

That is so incredibly amazing!!! What a great blessing! Speaking of blessings, btw, I was in my ward yesterday in sacrament meeting dealing with my four children all different ages and thought of you guys and wondered, how do they do it?! It's a workout for me! One 1 year old is quite enough for me during those 3 hours!

Dunstan Family said...

YOu are truly an inspiration. Thanks for blogging about it.

Susan said...

What an amazing birth story! My mom (Denise C.) has kept me filled in on the babies' progress this past year. She loves helping take care of them, and I can see why!

Apis Melliflora said...

God clearly chose the right parents, the right siblings, and the right extended family to welcome and love those five adorable babies.

Your family's epic story is full of love, patience and joy. Inspiring!

Cassaundra said...

Beautiful and oh, so touching. I have tears streaming down my face reading all of this....It is still a marvelous miracle bestowed upon you. My kids and I have enjoyed each visit to your wonderful home to see your family and help in whatever capacity we could...and we look forward to watching these babies grow even bigger......It has been a blessed year. We cherish your family and friendship.

Sunny said...

I just loved reading the story of your babies births! God truly is amazing!!!

lindsay Roscoe said...

I needed that thank you after feeling overwhelmed with my 5 two of wich are twins I feel a little better and enlightened to hear a story that could be rocked with craziness and overwhelmedness(?) but you are just grateful. Tahnk you for being inspirational to me when I needed it most. Lindsay

Pam said...

Wow, what a blessing! I have been reading your story and just love your family, like I know them. Everyone seems so well adjusted, you must have the patience of Job! Thanks for sharing the memories and I look forward to many more! God Bless You all. A friend in East Texas, Pam.

Quintuplet Dad said...

You know, I just have to put in my two cents that this whole thing really is miraculous. I look at those pictures and wonder how on earth things have turned out the way they have. I am really grateful for this miracle.

Nerns said...

Thank you for sharing. What an amazing story!

LucieP said...

Rachel!
it's so crazy to think that your precious babies are going to be a year!
I started following your blog shortly after their birth after reading a news article with the blog link.
At the time, I was about 5 months pregnant with my second child, another boy. He is now 8 months old and I can't believe how fast the time has flown!
Congrats mommy (and daddy too)
Can't wait to hear how the big day goes!!

Carroll Family said...

That was so great to read! Thanks for sharing that story. I live in AZ and remember when this all happened - I had a 4-mo. old (#6) at the time, and couldn't imagine doing 5 all at once! I'm sure you hear that a lot! Do you, by chance, remember my husband?

Kelly said...

Absolutely incredible! I got chills just reading about this miracle again.

Your tummy sure did look deformed though--almost as wide as tall!!! lol Cute as can be.

Happy birthday babies!

lori said...

i have thoroughly enjoyed getting to "know" your family through your blog and jayson's. thank you for sharing these wonderous experiences with all of us.

it's so neat to read the babies' birth stories. i cannot believe a year has gone by already.

wishing you and your family the very best!

-lori

Amy said...

I started reading your blog when you were still pregnant. I have been "watching" your family ever since. I love reading your blog and getting updates on your sweet family.
You are great examples.

The Dairy Wife said...

What a beautiful story. It brought memories just as if it were yesterday of when I photographed the birth of The Wright Quints last year. www.thewrightfive.blogspot.com.

It was so amazing to see them born one by one and take their first breath.

I've been a nurse for many many years and have three year triplets myself ... but seeing those 5 nurses lined up against a wall to "catch" those babies was breath taking. It was a beautiful experience.

We're all so blessed aren't we?

Tanya

Alison said...

What a touching birth story. You give insperation to a young mom of 3 kids. You have a very beautiful, blessed family.
Happy Birthday Wilkinson Quints! And Congrats to your whole family for handling the first year with 5 babies, +2.

Luke's Mom said...

you have an amazing story and have been keeping up with you guys for a few months now. thank you for sharing this..it is truely amazing that all 5 of those babies were in your tummy! What little blessings...

Arnold Quads said...

That brought tears to my eyes. I loved all the pictures and I can't believe the babies are going to be 1 soon. How time flys. You are a great inspiration to me and I hope that you have a wonderful 1st birthday with those babies!

-maureen

Hope Logan said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!

Carol Beth said...

I believe the big day is TODAY?! Happy birthday to Kassidy, Kaydence, Kyndall, Rustin, & Ryder!

--Beth (a mom from the Austin area)

lindsay Roscoe said...

Happy Birthday to the quints today!

Lauren and Christopher said...

Hi I'm Sandy Clark's niece, my name is Lauren, me and my sisters love looking at your sweet babies on your blog. I was talking to my sister the other day and we were wondering if you have ever heard of blurb.com, they make your blog into a book. It's an easy way to keep a journal because seeing your busy babies I bet you don't have a ton of time for writing things down. thanks for letting us read your posts.

Sylvana said...

Happy first Birttday to Kassidy, Kaydence, Rustin, Kyndall and Ryder

The Carlsons said...

congrats (and happy 1st birthday!) on an amazing year for you! i love that you wrote down the details of that exciting day/days before. hope the kiddos enjoyed their special day!

-quad mom of GGGG and a 4yo boy

btw, i noticed that you were in rm 511. so was i! well, i started out in rm 510 but then moved next door to the much bigger rm 511. nice! and i had dr. lam deliver me. (oh, and i had kristie as one of my nurses too!)

Mackenzie said...

Thank you for your amazing blog. My sister in-law just had twins and we are in awe of going from 2 to 4...but from 2 to 7 is awesome. What a fun house to live in.

God trully blessed you with your miracles.

Kelly said...

Those are awesome weights for five babies!!

Kristen said...

I thought I commented on this when I skimmed through it before...what's my problem??? I read it all this time and loved being walked through the delivery. (great photographer you had, who was it?) I would have LOVED to photograph something like that! I love the bucket of umbilical cords, fascinating. ANd how cool that your kids got to watch a TV of the babies after they were born. Thanks for the full story! And even as newborns, I can make out their little faces. Fun also to learn how you named them.

L'anthropologue said...

This is a fabulous story!!!! Yes, I think a lot of people feel attached to your family!

So happy first birthday to Kassidy, Kindall, Rustin, Ryder and Kaydence, those adorable babies!!!

(sorry for my English, this is not my first language!!!).

Megan said...

Hi!! My name is Megan and first of all I want to say Rachelle...you are a strong women and your babies are beautiful...I have a question for you though...when you have a baby are birthing rooms all ways seperated into two parts or is that just for multiples? ...I was wondering if you knew this because I wanted to know if it is possible to work only on the baby care side and not the actual birthing side... Thanks- Megan

Rachelle said...

Hi Megan--

You can definitely work on the "baby care side". My babies were premature, so they were cared for by the NICU. For normal deliveries, the babies usually go to the newborn nursery.

Ebony Winen said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing story :)

Ebony Winen said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing story :)

Jess @ LifeintheWhiteHouse.com said...

Wow! Such a blessing and very impressive! I know my doctors were impressed that I made it to 34 weeks with triplets, and they all had good weights. But you....wow!

Sandra Pleites-Laurentino said...

What an amazing birth story! I have a little boy and I thought it was so tough on my body, but you had 5! All my respects to you! I came across your birth story on Facebook. So glad I did. God is amazing, you were given 5 miracles:)

Marcy said...

What a beautiful story! Thank you so much for taking the time to share it blessed my life! You are an amazing family! -Marcy

BrooksieP said...

Such a blessing!!! My daughter and her cousin are a few months apart, my daughters name is Kendall and her cousins name is Kadence!