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!
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.
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.
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 DadDr. 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 baby care side of the delivery room.
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.)
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!
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.
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!
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.