Wednesday, November 16, 2016

So....Now What?

Dr. Elliott recommended that we be in Arizona full time by my 18th week of pregnancy.  Given that we were just at our 11th week when we talked to him, we thought we had some time. And given our track record, who knew if we'd even make it to 18 weeks.  We never had before.

Given that we had only shared our news with our pastors, we realized it was time to tell our families.  We waited until week 12 just to protect our parents from getting too excited.  Michael and I now have a love/hate relationship with hope (more on that later), and we wanted to protect our parents from getting hurt.

 Michael and his parents, Ginny and Charlie
 My parents, Tom and Kaye

I remember we told our parents on a Sunday.  We went to our church supper club, and on the way home, we knew it was time. We called Michael's parents first.  Ginny and Charlie were out on the deck when we called.  As Michael walked them through the situation, they took it in stride.  Michael comes from a family of five, so his parents were ready to jump in and help.  Ginny and Charlie are some of the most competent parents I've ever met.  I immediately felt calmed, knowing that they could help us manage the details of parenthood.

My parents were next.  Mom answered the phone. 
"Mom, is Dad there?"
"Yes, honey, do you need to talk to him?"
"No, I need to talk to both of you."

I heard feet thumping through the living room as Mom yelled, "TOM, pick up the phone!!"

As we began to tell them the whole story, Mom immediately began to weep (happy tears).  It was quite the moment.  Mom and Dad knew about our struggles getting pregnant, so they shared our joy in the purest sense.  My mom is the classic "doer," so she was ready to jump into action.  What comes first?  How should we organize this?  How could they help?  My parents have always been the first to offer a helping hand and this circumstance was no exception.  They both, especially Mom, have been such a support system for me.  Dad suggested we name one of them "Buddy Wayne."  Yes, I'm from Alabama and we tease each other about our southern roots.  For the record, my child will not be named Buddy Wayne.

We explained to both of our parents about Dr. Elliott's track record.  How the national average gestational age for quintuplets is 27 or 28 weeks.  How Dr. Elliott's patients usually average 32 or 33 weeks.  How this additional gestation time can lower the risks for post birth complications.

With our parents on board, we started to make plans.  Michael and I shared the news with our bosses and God bless them, they were very supportive.  Michael would work remotely from Arizona, using leave as needed, and I would take an early maternity leave and let my co-workers counsel the students in my absence.

12 week photo
With the help of a very dear friend in Charlotte, we found a place to live (that would accept our sweet dog Ellie) and things began to take shape.

Our sweet Ellie

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