Quadruplets on the way after IUI


#1

My wife and I just found out a couple of days ago that she is pregnant with quadruplets… It took 3 IUI tries with the addition of some shots that gave her three quality size eggs (she wasn’t getting any quality size eggs, even with Clomid). We just didn’t expect them all to work, with one splitting, lol.

At the moment, we are still in SHOCK! As I am the man of the house, I know it’s my responsibility to provide for the family. But I don’t know how that is possible for FOUR babies – kinda freaked out over here. My wife is highly against selective reduction, while I think it is worth looking into (both for the health of the babies and the mom).

We did the first ultrasound at 5.5 weeks and we currently only see one heartbeat. We will do another ultrasound each of the next two weeks to see if we actually get four heartbeats. We are very excited for our first kids being just 8 months away, but the uncertainty of everything else is kind of overwhelming at the moment.

Does anyone know how many fetuses tend to last through an entire quadruplet pregnancy? Are we crazy for even considering trying to make it all the way through this pregnancy? My wife is always talking about what God wants for us, we will get. But I’m just trying to be smart about this. How are we going to properly raise 4 kids both physically and financially? I want to be the best dad I can be and I’m really lost at the moment on how to do that.


#2

Rangers,
I just want to wish you the best of luck in the decision you and your wife make. I believe God has a plan for all of us and will not give us more than you can handle. Good Luck…


#3

This is certainly a sticky situation in that clearly you want kids hence the reason you tried for them and took those chances no doubt not expecting to win the lottery LOL since higher order multiples are so rare and especially one splitting.

I can see your concerns and at the same time see why your wife wouldn’t want to reduce since their is no guarantee that if you reduce the others will be okay as there is that risk you could lose them all simply by the act of reduction.

Being 34wks pregnant with a singleton I don’t envy what your wife may have to go through in a pregnancy with multiple babies as I am incredibly uncomfortable at the moment–LOL–I cannot even imagine room for twins in there at this point let alone quads, but I digress.

Anyway, I think if it were me I would wait it out and see what happens as they may naturally reduce themselves or prove their strength to survive. Plus it gives you more time to consider what to do together as a couple as that will be more important than ever now. I am not sure I could live with the possibility that reduction could cause all of them to die after putting so much into their life already. Seems counterproductive, but I think those are things you have to decide for your self ya know as far as what can you live with. Would it be better to be a potential catalyst in their life only to chose to reduce and be a potential catalyst in their demise as well or would it be better to see what they do on their own since they seem determined to be here or else they wouldn’t have all taken right?! IDK–just thinking out loud here, but just things to consider.

I wish I could answer your actual question about the outcomes of quads, but I just don’t know.

The other answers are easy, having had three children that were all premature, I can tell you that 1.) No you are absolutely not crazy for considering each life and daring to hope they can make it. AND 2.) The fact is that nothing in life is without risk and the greatest risks can often yield the most reward.

It seems you are very lost and yet want to make a smart decision whereas your wife is going more on gut instinct. These are both important in my opinion, but what I can tell you is that things always have a way of working themselves out and if you stay the course and be persistent it will be worth it in the end.

I have never once questioned should I have gotten pregnant with my first son or reduced him since he was born prematurely and had to be resuscitated. I would have never regretted having him even if he had passed on that day because he was a gift and I think that it doesn’t really matter how many babies you have in there at one time as even with one there is no guarantee they will be completely healthy and worry free. When they are all born you are not going to question if you made the right decisions. You will just know when you see them grow and when you see them born that you didn’t give up on them if that makes sense.

So in my experience I think I would let nature do what it does and go from there. Just recognize that not everything is in your control and even if you try to control it by reduction or even by doing nothing you could still end up with none or all four so…knowing you have no control in this situation regardless of how sense-able you desire to be may help you to make the right decision for you. I also think that you have to have faith that it will all work out and that is can all work out. I mean it certainly has thus far so…

I firmly believe that if you choose to keep them all and they all make it that you will also find a way to provide for them all and a way to be the best dad. We have three kids so far and one on the way and although we did not have all of ours at once they were not without challenge and yet we are still able to be good parents and provide for them all. You will also be surprised how much help and love surround you with family and friends and will be there to support you in it all. :grouphug:

Good Luck with everything! I will :pray: that God leads you in the right direction and that all works out even better than you ever could have imagined it could. I :pray: you also have peace in finding your new normal and renewed spirit! :flower:


#4

First off: both congratulations - after all you are expecting:) - and so sorry for you, such a hard decision.

I honestly have no idea what decision I would make. I would probably try to use some framework for the decision, collecting and weighing all the risks etc. Here are some things I would consider:

  • the risks of quadruplet pregnancy on the mother
  • the risks of quadruplet pregnancy on the babies: not just loss, but the impact such a pregnancy may have on otherwise healthy babies: i.e. pre-mature birth and its life-time consequences on the babies’ health
  • ways (if any) to mitigate these risks: i.e. selecting a special hospital, practice specialized in such pregnancies etc.
  • the risks of reduction on the mother
  • the risks of reduction on the remaining babies
  • ways (if any) to mitigate them: again specialized practice, doctor of excellent reputation, timing etc.
  • financial considerations: assets, resources that you have, your ability to ‘stay afloat’ in the case of a job loss etc.

To me the biggest question to understand as deeply as possible would be the potential impact on the babies and their long-term health and quality of life. I know many people believe that even a short life or a life full with challenges and difficulties is worth it, I am not sure how far this applies: i.e a life full with pain, misery and eternal struggle due to some incurable condition?

Sorry, I know this has not been very helpful.


#5

There were 2 other women who recently got pregnant with quads (I think they got their BFPs in January or February) - it might be helpful to track down their posts and connect with them. I’m sorry, I’m blanking on their names, but a search for quads would probably find them.


#6

There is also a thread with triplet moms. It may be a bit old, but may be worthwhile to read it:

http://forums.fertilitycommunity.com/due-date-buddies/277280-triplet-mommies.html?highlight=quadruplets


#7

First… CONGRATS! I agree with ahhny. she makes good sense. also don’t freak out yet. I got preg with triplets and only 1 developed a heartbeat. if ur wife feels she is meant to carry these babies regardless of risks, then i believe that’s what she should do. she has to live with the descision either way and if she can’t live with knowing she reduced when she didn’t want to then it will always bother her. And u will figure it out financially somehow because that’s what daddy’s do and i know u will b up to the challenge bc u didn’t let infertility hold u back so ik nothing will hold u back. good luck and God bless


#8

Congratulations! That really must be like winning the lottery, only bringing in boatloads of scary instead of buckets of cash. The best advice you can probably get is from your doctors and from other people who have either gone through or are going through similar circumstances… as a previous poster mentioned, there are actually two women in my due date group who found out they were having quads early into the pregnancy. One of them (irusik0217) hasn’t been on the forums since the beginning of March, but the other (fak673) is about as active as you can expect somebody 18 weeks with four babies to be! (All four of hers are totally healthy and doing really well so far.) I would definitely encourage PMing her, though it may be a bit before she gets back to you.

Good luck!


#9

I echo LookingGlass… your best bet is to try to contact the two women going through this same situation.

irusik0217 - was forced to reduced by doc orders, her body could not handle a quad preg. I dont know if she went through with it. I hope to hear from her and how her baby(s) are doing.

fak673- is chugging away with her crew.

So you have each scenerio you are playing out in your head. I do know that fak673 had to get a bigger car and house.

I dont know what I would do, I just know that whatever I chose it would be what was best for me and my new family.


#10

I agree with the some of the others’ responses. Although, no matter what anyone has to say or feel about your situation, your decision will be a personal one to which none of us can dictate or speculate for you.

There are several triplet threads (I’m on a couple of them, as I’m having triplets) and I’m sure there are a couple quads threads too.

You might try MOST Online as a resource for Q&A, as well as support.

While it’s no doubt overwhelming, I’m positive that you and your wife will make the best choice with regards to YOUR family.

Sending many hugs and prayers your way. :grouphug:

Bree


#11

Rangersfan- Congrats on the pregnancy. I think it is wayyy tooo early to even think about SR(selective reduction) since all HB haven’t been confirmed. As others have said, sometimes nature takes the decisions away from you having to decide. I know a few gals pregnant with various multiples that eventually some didn’t progress, reducing the number on their own.

Regardless, you will find a way to handle it, if you take home quads. It’s shocking to even find out you are pregnant, so give yourself time to digest one step at a time. Take one day at a time, and please keep us posted on how things are going.

Kappochenno- Congrats on having triplets on the way! I am thrilled for you! :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:


#12

[QUOTE=RangersFan4Life]My wife and I just found out a couple of days ago that she is pregnant with quadruplets… It took 3 IUI tries with the addition of some shots that gave her three quality size eggs (she wasn’t getting any quality size eggs, even with Clomid). We just didn’t expect them all to work, with one splitting, lol.

At the moment, we are still in SHOCK! As I am the man of the house, I know it’s my responsibility to provide for the family. But I don’t know how that is possible for FOUR babies – kinda freaked out over here. My wife is highly against selective reduction, while I think it is worth looking into (both for the health of the babies and the mom).

We did the first ultrasound at 5.5 weeks and we currently only see one heartbeat. We will do another ultrasound each of the next two weeks to see if we actually get four heartbeats. We are very excited for our first kids being just 8 months away, but the uncertainty of everything else is kind of overwhelming at the moment.

Does anyone know how many fetuses tend to last through an entire quadruplet pregnancy? Are we crazy for even considering trying to make it all the way through this pregnancy? My wife is always talking about what God wants for us, we will get. But I’m just trying to be smart about this. How are we going to properly raise 4 kids both physically and financially? I want to be the best dad I can be and I’m really lost at the moment on how to do that.[/QUOTE]

I was told by a MFM specialist that typically you subtract 2.5 weeks per fetus from 40 weeks and that’s considered full term. For instance, 37.5 weeks for twins, 35 weeks for triplets, 32.5 weeks for quads, etc. Keep in mind that the human uterus is designed to carry one baby at a time, so when it gets to be a certain size, it’ll often automatically start contracting, which is why multiples are usually born early. When I was pregnant with triplets, I remember meeting a woman in the waiting room at the perinatologist office and she was having quads and said they’re going to be c-sectioned at 33 weeks if she doesn’t go into labor before then. If your wife can make it that long, that would be fantastic. I remember reading somewhere (so don’t quote me on this) that the avg quad gestation in the US is 29-30 weeks.

Expect them to be in the NICU and to meet insurance deductible quickly. If they just require basic neonatology, the insurance company probably won’t fuss about that. If they require extensive things, like two of mine did, expect to be on the phone with them often trying to state your case. Its no fun to find the time and then to wait on hold to speak to an insurance company rep, especially when you’re exhausted and sleep deprived. If your insurance has a flex spending account option, I suggest signing up for the max amount.

Excuses insurance companies use for denying claims:

  1. “We wanted to see if you’re covered by other insurance.” They say this because if you have another insurance, they won’t pay and neither will the other. They’ll just point fingers at each other.
  2. “Claim was denied because they’re named A, B & C.” Stupid stuff like that. They’re hoping you won’t fight them and just pay.

Also, expect your wife to have lots of doctor apts and be on bed rest for at least half the pregnancy. If she’s one of those rare ones that doesn’t need bed rest, she’s very lucky. If she’s on bed rest, you’ll be doing all the household chores. My husband hired a housecleaning service to help out.

Get the book by Barbara Luke, “When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads.” It’s a good guide, although eating all that food she talks about isn’t absolutely necessary.

Accept offers of help. This is a hard one, especially if you like to do things yourself. Tell people ahead of time that some of their helping will require cooking, cleaning, laundry and not just sitting around holding babies. Also, ignore outdated advice that you’ll get from older relatives, such as put rice in the bottle, put them on their tummy to sleep, etc. Also, you, your wife and anybody offering to help should get flu shots this fall. I know this sounds picky and people might disagree with me on this one, but babies born prematurely have compromised immune systems and the flu can be very dangerous…and after all you went through to bring the babies into this world, it would be terrible for something like the flu to kill or hospitalize them. Babies can’t get flu shots until they’re at least 6 months old. Pertussis/whooping cough vaccine is also a good one for caregivers, as is pneumonia (for senior citizens). A thing about flu shots that most people already know (but I figured I’d say anyway): It takes 2-3 weeks for the vaccine to get into your system, so it’s a good idea to get the shot when it becomes available to get it out of the way. You don’t want someone showing up at your house or the hospital saying they just got their shot yesterday. Once again, sorry if this sounds picky…I’m one of those overly pre-cautious people.

One thing that’s really important for preemies is breast milk/colostrum. The hospital should provide your wife a pump and collection containers. Be sure and deliver in a hospital with a Level 3 NICU. Babies born prematurely often don’t have the ability to latch onto a breast, which is why pumping and putting into bottles is the next best option. The hospitals often fortify breast milk with a little formula powder to give the babies extra calories the first few weeks. Even if she only pumps for a few weeks or months, it’ll be worth it.

Another thing, it was very hard for me to tell if I was having contractions. I couldn’t tell the difference between fetal movement and a contraction. I was told that often women carrying more than one baby have such tight skin anyway and extreme back pain that they’re not going to notice if their skin gets tighter or back gets a little more painful (symptoms of a contraction). I was put on contraction monitors and that’s how I knew I was having contractions. A contraction monitor for home use that transmits data to your doctor might be something to ask about, although my doctor didn’t use them. The uterus will contract, it’s just a matter of keeping things under control with medication and resting and drinking lots of water, etc.

Also, I’d hate to say this, but you might get visits (once in the hospital) from hospital social workers/mental health professionals who grill you on how you plan to care for four babies.

Best of luck to you and your wife.


#13

Wow! I didn’t expect this kind of response! Thank you to everyone for your advice and helpful pointers. You have really helped to calm my nerves a little bit as we wait for the next couple of weeks to see how all of this plays out.

We also have made presents for our moms for Mother’s Day: candies, roses, other items in groups of 4. At the bottom of the box will be a picture frame with 4 small pictures of the ultrasounds with Babies A, B, C, and D. We can’t wait to see them flip out ;). I think my dad was thinking that he’d possibly never be a grandpa. So this is pretty cool for all of us right now.

We are starting to look into trading in my wife’s sports car for a minivan. Any recommendations on safe/quality minivans? Are those tv’s in the back seats actually helpful on drives? Is there any feature that is a must? Is it true that you should only buy new baby car seats?

Based on how many babies we end up with, we are comptemplating selling our house and temporarily moving in with my in-laws (if they are cool with that). I REALLY don’t want to leave our house we have been in since we got married 3 years ago, but I guess we will have to do whatever is necessary.

If this board is any representation of how our friends/family will support us when we break the news, I feel better that we may be able to make it through this thing and “stay afloat” financially.

I also just celebrated my 7-year anniversary of being cancer-free :). So this is a double-exciting time for me in my life. However things play out, I’m going to try and stay positive, and be the best parent I can be.

Thanks again for all of the support.


#14

Minivans: We just got a Town & Country and we love it. I also know other minivan owners who say the Honda Odyssey is their “must-have” minivan. I would go to cartalk.com and check out their auto advisor utility. (If you Google “car talk auto advisor”, it should be the first result.) That lets you put in all kinds of features that are very desirable or very undesirable and it helps you find what cars are out there that match your needs. Finally, we are only expecting baby #2, but my coworker with four kids under 8 said that he couldn’t recommend the Suburban highly enough. They actually have two, both diesel engines.

As for car seats, here’s why they recommend buying new seats. Car seats are like bike helmets; they’re really designed to be “single-use” (where one use is defined as being in a crash). However, many people don’t understand what the definition of a crash is. Any collision over 5 miles an hour is considered a crash in which you should replace a car seat OR base even if there was no baby or seat in it. This is because you strap them in very tight, and the kinds of forces the seatbelt or LATCH applies on the base and the seat are enough to cause micro-cracks even at those slow speeds. But that rigid connection to the car is vital for it to do its job keeping the baby safe. There is a lot of good information out there, for instance, on the NTHSA website about how to pick a car seat. Many people do decide to accept a used car seat, but my suggestion would be, only do that if you have a way to assess whether the person understands that any fender bender makes the seat and base unsafe.

And finally, I think that you will be overwhelmed with the support and help that you receive if you do end up with four babies. You’re both aware of how important it is to consider your wife’s health and the health of the babies and really give the question of reduction serious thought on both sides, and whatever you decide, you’ll be making the best decision you can. If they all turn out to be viable and you don’t reduce, there’s no question that it will be hard, but families do manage, and that will just be your new “normal.” Best of luck on whatever happens.


#15

[QUOTE=Godiva4me]Rangersfan- Congrats on the pregnancy. I think it is wayyy tooo early to even think about SR(selective reduction) since all HB haven’t been confirmed. As others have said, sometimes nature takes the decisions away from you having to decide. I know a few gals pregnant with various multiples that eventually some didn’t progress, reducing the number on their own.

Regardless, you will find a way to handle it, if you take home quads. It’s shocking to even find out you are pregnant, so give yourself time to digest one step at a time. Take one day at a time, and please keep us posted on how things are going.

Kappochenno- Congrats on having triplets on the way! I am thrilled for you! :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:[/QUOTE]

Thank you Godiva!!! :flower: long time no speak, mama…

Ranger- For the record, I agree. Its a bit early to contemplate or even stress about SR. Just arm yourself with knowledge and support, and hang in there. As for mini-vans… I’m not the one to answer that. Lol, I’m an suv chick and went with a fully loaded sut (avalanche), but I only have 3. If we have more, I will trade up to a suburban. I think the dvd will come in handy. I have used it with my nephew and it works like a charm every time. :woohoo:

Hang in there!

Bree


#16

[QUOTE=RangersFan4Life]We are starting to look into trading in my wife’s sports car for a minivan. Any recommendations on safe/quality minivans? Are those tv’s in the back seats actually helpful on drives? Is there any feature that is a must? Is it true that you should only buy new baby car seats?[/QUOTE]

The answer is YES for both questions. My three boys are now 20, 15, & 13 and we have had a TV in our SUV (or whatever car we had at the time) for forever. Once we even drove our firebird with a small TV rigged up for kidos to watch in the backseat on a long trip (long story shorter our SUV and Another car we had were totaled in a tornado and so we had to use the sports car–LOL). It was fun though! But absolutely a life saver!! We even used our SUV in the garage to watch a movie once because the power to the house went out so it is nice for fun entertainment even when you aren’t going anywhere.

One thing I would recommend with an SUV is to get a back up warning system. With four kids you will want to make sure you don’t accidently back over one of them and studies have shown that they can fit a whole kindergarten class behind one and the driver cannot see them.

As far as the car seat: the problem with buying used is two fold…
1.) You may not be able to tell how old it is and the safety standards change even over just a two year span. Also, often those infant seats are bought with a stroller that it fits into, but while the seat is only used a year the stroller is used for 4 potentially so if the person is selling them as a set you could be getting a car seat that is 4 yrs old.
2.) There is no way of knowing if the used seat you buy has been in an accident and even a small fender bender can be enough to damage the integrity of the seat. So while the seats can be incredibly expensive (especially for 4 babies) it just isn’t worth it in my opinion to skimp in that particular area. Unfortunately, cribs are the same way as you don’t want to buy one that is too old for safety concerns.

BTW: love your plans for telling the parents and congrats on being cancer free 7yrs now! :woohoo:


#17

You’ll want to be careful about telling people this early that you’re expecting quads or just tell selective people you know will keep their mouths shut. You might want to consider just announcing the pregnancy and then anounce the number of babies once you get out of the first trimester.

I say this because news like a quad pregnancy will spread faster than wildfire. If (heaven forbid) one, two or three of the babies spontaneously reduce themselves, you’ll get people (ones you dont speak to often…just once a yr during the holidays) asking you about the quads and it’ll force you to re-live the fact that some were lost. If you decide to selectively reduce, I imagine that conversation would be thousands of times more painful, even if you just say that some of them “didn’t make it” or “stopped growing.” I don’t mean to sound morbid, but it’s something to consider.

Although my situation was rare, I had to explain to several people many months after the birth why only 1 of my triplets came home from the hospital and each time it was hard.


#18

[QUOTE=BabiesAreCute]You’ll want to be careful about telling people this early that you’re expecting quads or just tell selective people you know will keep their mouths shut. You might want to consider just announcing the pregnancy and then anounce the number of babies once you get out of the first trimester.

I say this because news like a quad pregnancy will spread faster than wildfire. If (heaven forbid) one, two or three of the babies spontaneously reduce themselves, you’ll get people (ones you dont speak to often…just once a yr during the holidays) asking you about the quads and it’ll force you to re-live the fact that some were lost. If you decide to selectively reduce, I imagine that conversation would be thousands of times more painful, even if you just say that some of them “didn’t make it” or “stopped growing.” I don’t mean to sound morbid, but it’s something to consider.

Although my situation was rare, I had to explain to several people many months after the birth why only 1 of my triplets came home from the hospital and each time it was hard.[/QUOTE]

I know exactly what you are saying and I agree. We are limiting what we are saying and who we are saying it too right now. We have a handful of good friends that are going through IUI/IVF right now who are all in our circle of trust. We weren’t going to say anything to our parents until week 12, but if we continue with any more than 2 babies, we are going to need to start getting donations or help sooner than later. We may even have to move in with them. I hate doing this after all we have built in our own home, but I am running out of alternative ideas… And for the record, I am very sorry to hear of your loss, BAC. But at least you have one healthy baby :).

And thanks to everyone else with the van ideas. We’ll try and look for one with tv’s in the back. But we are still going to hang on for a few weeks to see how many kids we are really expecting.

After talking to one couple were are good friends with who just delivered a baby via IUI, they are giving us two cribs :). I don’t know how we would do this without good friends/family, but this act of kindness is very encouraging to give me a feeling that we may be able to pull this off (I’m a numbers and planner kind of guy – still gotta learn the “being a dad” part).


#19

first let me say…congrats to you!

My brother and his wife had triplets (iui) it was a very challenging and difficult pregnancy for her. She carried the babies for 36+ weeks. They were born healthy and spent very very little time in the nicu.
I am sure you are aware of the health risks for your wife and those babies.
My sister is a nicu nurse in Texas and she was so afraid for my brother. They were so blessed to have healthy babies. I would not want the decision of selective reduction so I know how horrible it would feel for your wife to even consider it.
You have been blessed and I applaud your openess to educate yourself on your options with concern for your wife’s health and babies health.


#20

3 Strong Heartbeats

So we went in for our 2nd ultrasound today (6.5 weeks) and we have gone from 1 out of 4 with strong heartbeats to 3 out of 4 with strong heartbeats. We will go back in about 10 days for a 3rd ultrasound to confirm that we are just having triplets and not quadruplets. But I’d say that I’m just thrilled that we have gone from not thinking we would ever be able to have kids to all of a sudden having three in the oven in a matter of months :).

We also decided to pass the word onto our families during Mother’s Day lunch and dinner. Needless to say, everyone was in shock and excited – and we got it all on video, haha. My mother-in-law thought that we were pulling a prank on her, LOL.

So it looks like we are still in the multiples club, and most importantly, I’m happy that they have a better chance to be healthy by having ~33 weeks of growing time vs. 29-30 weeks (for quads).

We’re getting there!