One In A Set of Quadruplets, Max Thrives at Home
As he runs around, throwing balls and giving kisses to his siblings, one thing is certain – Max is a sweet toddler, thriving at home. But he isn’t the only two year old in this house – Max is one in a quadruplet set, comprised of three boys and a girl.
Two Becomes Four
Initially told she was having twins, it came as a big surprise to mom, Stephanie, and her husband, William, when they later found out she was carrying quadruplets.
“The woman performing the ultrasound started counting and told me I was carrying four, and I told her ‘you better stop looking for babies right now,’” she jokes.
Born at 26 weeks, Max came into the world at 1 pound, 10 ounces – healthy aside from typical micro-preemie issues. However, when he was three weeks old, he developed necrotizing enterocolitis and lost about 90% of his small intestine.
Everyone at Home
With his sibling coming home from the hospital after three, four, and five months, Max was finally able to come home with PHS after seven months.
“It was hard to leave the babies who were home, and it was hard to not be with Max at the hospital. So it was incredible to come home and have everyone together,” remembers Stephanie.
Today, Max receives total parenteral nutrition (TPN), g-tube feedings, and has private duty nursing at home. Because PHS is there to tend to his complex medical needs, Stephanie isn’t playing defense against two-year-olds who want to pull at his cords while also ensuring that Max is getting each of his cares met.
“Max does have quite a few medical needs, and things that have to occur throughout the day to ensure he’s receiving proper nutrition and staying healthy. Having PHS in our home is a crucial part of Max’s care,” says Stephanie.
Their Own Normal
What does a day with four two-year-olds look like? Stephanie seems to have a schedule down pat.
“Everyone gets out of bed around 8, and we have breakfast and play in the morning. Max has occupational therapy once a week and physical therapy twice a week, so we have a few trips out.
“If the weather’s nice, we go for walks, if we have enough people with us, we go to the park to swing and slide. Max loves to go down the slide. Otherwise, we play in the house. Have lunch, nap, play some more, eat dinner, and go to bed.”
Looking to the Future
Max and his family are looking ahead at what’s to come, hoping that eventually he’ll be TPN-free and lose all the tubes.
“He came home from the hospital on 24 hours of TPN, and he’s down to 12 now. We’ll just go with what he can handle,” says Stephanie. “We don’t want to treat him any differently; we want him to be able to live a normal life. We don’t want to tell him what he can and can’t do with his future.”
For right now, Max spends his time being the observer of the house and using his fine motor skills more to do things like putting items in his piggy bank, while Stephanie and William spend their time raising four two-year-olds.
“And trying to get some sleep,” laughs Stephanie.Originally published: January 24, 2014