A California couple have welcomed home the healthiest set of quintuplets ever born according to doctors, in addition to their big sister Gianna.
Returning to their Fullerton home on Wednesday Meryl and John Ferraro were greeted by a banner reading ‘Welcome home GRACE + 1.’
With so many children, three girls and two boys in addition to their two-year-old big sister Gianna, the parents say it may be easier to refer to them all using a simple acronym for: Gabrielle, Riley, Addison, Cooper and Emerson.
After several hours of labour, it took less than three minutes to deliver all five with ’24 people or so in the Operating room, and another 40-50 people in the baby recovery room,’ writes the proud father in their family blog.
But that can’t hold a candle to the both physically and emotionally intense pregnancy the mother had to first fight through.
After several miscarriages and years trying to give birth, it was an infertility specialist in December of 2008 that brought them their oldest daughter, Gianna.
Trying again, successful at least, until the first ultrasound found two sets of heartbeats that gradually escalated to five bringing a number shockingly unexpected by the couple – though joyfully welcome – even with their doctor’s grim warning.
‘He spent over an hour telling us all the statistics and dangers that faced our little ones; blindness, cerebral palsy, hearing loss, autism, mental retardation, even death.
‘He said he supported us with whatever decision we made, but he clearly implied that fetal reduction as the best option for having healthy babies. Keeping all 5 was too risky and the statistics showed that at least 2-3 of our babies would have significant health issues,’ Mr Ferraro wrote.
With a doctor suggesting they, in Mr Ferraro’s words, ‘choose which of our babies would live and which ones would die,’ after traumatic thought and consideration, they decided in the end: ‘if God was giving us 5 babies, there was a reason.
The couple’s struggle didn’t end there though.
In June, 18 weeks into their pregnancy, their doctor issued another warning to the couple after an ultrasound.
Mrs Ferraro’s cervix was opening up, dilating to 4cm by the next day with her amniotic fluid or bag of water seen ‘bulging out like a balloon,’ according to the father.
Undergoing an emergency surgery to close the expanding gap that would otherwise cause her to go into premature labour, losing the babies, their doctor later said he didn’t think the babies would last more than a week.
But they did.
Temporarily relocating to Mesa, Arizona for their delivery, following their doctor’s move, on September 26th, Mrs Ferraro gave birth to the quintuplets all weighing between four and five pounds.
Returning home this week, they also arrived ‘a full 8 days gestational age prior to the previous record for a set of Quintuplets,’ the overjoyed father wrote, making them ‘the healthiest set of Quintuplets ever born.’
‘Just the fact that they made it this far and that they were all home within three weeks is just crazy. I mean it’s truly a miracle. They’re all healthy,’ Mrs Ferraro said.
‘Our first goal was to get them out healthy. … Now, the fun begins, she said.