[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:
- “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.
- “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.