As you all know, our show Rattled has been airing for the last two weeks on the TLC network on Tuesday nights. This past Tuesday, it was Episode 2, or as we refer to it at our house, “The Birth Scene.” This has been an episode we have been waiting a long time to see. It was filmed entirely over a year ago when our 4 miracles decided to join us early, coming at 29 weeks and 4 days. If you caught a glimpse of the episode, you saw how fast the delivery process happened once Ashley’s water broke. I am still in amazement of so many things that happened that day. I’d like to share a few memories with all of you!
The Water Breaking- Although we were on hospital bed rest, we honestly thought we had at least another 1-2 weeks with the way things were progressing with Ash. Her care was tremendous, and her body was holding up great! So the night her water broke, we were both a little shocked! This happened late Saturday the 27th of December. It was right after Christmas, and I had been moving our entire house and belongings to our new place, as we needed a bigger place!!! I got back to the hospital around 8 or 9pm, took a shower, and then it happened! Ash got up to use the restroom, and all of a sudden, I hear my name being yelled in panic. As I entered the restroom, Ash told me she felt a gush, and I saw it was more than a gush. The nurse was summoned, and assessed the situation. She told us everything was ok, and that this was normal, but they could still keep us pregnant longer, and that we should rest. She made calls, and we were informed the doctors would assess in the morning what was to be done.
The morning of– We woke up to 3 sets of doctors hovering Ashley’s bed. We had Maternal Fetal Medicine, Gynecology, and Neonatology all assessing and offering their opinion. At this point, Ashley and I knew this was going to happen sooner rather than later. Our OB at this time was away on family vacation, so her partner was filling in on this morning. As the OB and the Neonatologist discussed options and opinions, we listened intently. From what we made out, the OB thought it was best to wait a few days, supply Ashley with medicine that would speed up the growth of the brain and lungs. The Neonatologist was of a different mindset; he thought we needed to take the babies now, as we were at a greater risk of infection or bacteria setting in with the water breaking. This could be extremely harmful to the babies, especially being premature. This went on for about an hour to an hour and a half, with many phone calls, discussions, and nervous silence.
The Decision– As the two doctors continued discussing options, Maternal Fetal Medicine was called in to also consult. After she took at look at the sonogram, and watched Ashley’s contractions, it was determined that this was happening now. Ashley’s contractions were coming about every 30 seconds. All doctors at this time agreed that it was best to take the babies at this time. This decision would have the least risks, especially since Ashley had made it past the doctors goal of 28 weeks, making it to 29 weeks and 4 days!
The Delivery Staging– If you can imagine a hospital setting up for a quadruplet delivery, how long would you think it would take? I thought it would take days, especially on a moments notice! I was wrong! They had the delivery room, and adjoining resuscitation room set up and ready to go within an hour. Obviously, they had run through what was going to happen, knowing they had a pregnant quad mom on bed rest at their hospital. I was amazed when I walked into the room and saw everybody in motion, ready to do their part in helping our miracles make their grand entrance! I was in complete awe of this hospitals attention to detail. I knew at that moment, we were where we were supposed to be, and that our daughters and my wife were in the very best hands possible. I didn’t realize until much later how blessed we really were by having those specific people in those two specific rooms. God is real, I testify of that!
Camera’s setting up– As you are aware now, TLC had been filming with us since before Ashley went on bed rest. We had film crews in and out of our home and hospital room in the weeks prior getting our story, infertility journey, pregnancy, TTTS hurdle, and now bed rest. They had captured great footage and interviews documenting our story. We were excited to share our story, as we knew there were many out there who could identify with our struggle, but more importantly, wanted people to identify with our success and also give hope to those in the middle of the road! This would become tricky around the birth though, as none of us, including the doctors knew when the girls would tell us they were ready. Only God knew! This being the case, TLC and our Production company knew we had to have boots on the ground. This is when we met James from Jamestown Films. His production company is here in Utah, close to us. Having a Utah video production company ready to go at the drop of a hat was key to catching the moments we did for the show on Tuesday. Obviously our New York crew couldn’t camp out and wait for something to happen, we had no clue when the girls would be ready to come. Timing was crucial, and Jamestown Films did more than we could have ever imagined! Those precious moments were caught at a precious time, and we have those memories forever! The film work in the episode speaks for itself! How grateful we are to the network TLC, our production company Magilla, and to Jamestown Films for the tremendous work and beauty they captured on this very special day.
The Delivery– Although we had thought of and discussed this day forever, you are never ready for it. Watching them prepare Ashley for the delivery was an eye-opening experience. What we had been discussing and waiting for, was becoming very real; especially when I got a look at the epidural. (I could write an entire 5 page blog about the sacrifice’s women make, especially to their body to bring a new life here!). Before the doctors actually began the procedure, we had 17 people in the delivery room, and 22 in the resuscitation room for the babies. The rooms were separated by a wall full of windows, so you could see into both rooms. I was in awe at how fast these teams were assembled, and also at how quiet it was in both rooms. I’d like to think we were all doing the same thing; praying to the Heavens above that all would be well for Ashley and these 4 miracles soon to be here. I think I was right in that assessment.
The silence ended quickly as the OB and MFM began cutting Ash. From that moment, all 4 girls would be born within 2.5 minutes!!!!!!!! Unbelievable! If I wasn’t standing there as a witness, I wouldn’t believe it myself! These trained doctors and nurses have a calling from God, I truly believe that. There was not a single moment I saw hesitation, doubt or worry. These professionals have been given a gift, a real gift. How blessed I was just to witness for a few moments what that gift was. As they pulled each baby out, they would quickly show Mom over the drape, and whisk the baby over to the adjoining room where a new team of Gifted specialists would take over. As soon as they had all 4 out, I stayed with Ashley for a moment and told her what an amazing job she had done, that all the girls looked great, and that everything was going to plan. At that time, I didn’t want to leave my wife, but she told me to go check on our 4 brand new daughters. So I did.
The Girls first Room– As I entered the adjoining room, there was a buzz of conversation. Each girl has about 5 people around them, and then there was Dr. Minton. He is the NICU director, who we now more affectionately refer to as “Grandpa Minton.” You see him a lot in episode 1 and 2, for good reason. ( Again, I could write a 5 page blog on this man and his character alone). Each baby had a Neonatologist, a nurse and a respiratory therapist at their bedside. They were all working frantically to ensure our girls were getting all that they needed in that moment. The feeling when I walked into the room was surreal. I can’t imagine what my face looked like, and I’m glad I was wearing a mask so nobody else could see. Honestly, I had no clue what was going on, and I felt out of place. I got nervous for a minute, and then something hit me hard and shook me back to reality. It was Dr. Minton. He was hugging and congratulating me on being a Father of 4 girls now, and he was smiling and laughing! I must have looked at him with shock. Right then I knew once again, we were in the right place at the right time. A gift from God, yet once again. How many times was he going to reveal himself to me? As I look back, I can’t count the times, I just know it happened, and he is real.
As I gathered myself, I soon realized that these professionals looking after my daughters now, were also given gifts from God, and they were very good at exercising their talent. Working even faster than Ashley’s doctors, they got the girls all to a state, ready to move to the NICU floor! Unbelievable. One by one they carted of my daughters as they became stable and ready to move, and Dr. Minton followed them through the doors. I rushed back to check on Ashley and give her an update. She was doing great! The anesthesiologist had become her new best friend, and was keeping her calm as the other doctors stitched her back up. She saw me and immediately wanted an update. I told her all was well, the girls looked great, and they were in great hands! She was so happy, and so tired. I believe at this time, she became a little loopy as she was holding all her strength together waiting for my report. She did amazing, and I am still astonished to this day what she accomplished that day. I have so much respect for all mothers who go through this process. As an eyewitness to the entire pregnancy, the birth, post-birth, and transition to parenting and caregiver, women are an amazing creation that God perfected; and I have 5 of them living in my house.