Parents of expected quints get a little help from friends
Published: Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 28, 2012 at 4:53 p.m.
For several weeks, Ward's Supermarket customers paying for their groceries spied cups at the register with this sign: "Local lady having quintuplets. Donations appreciated."
It prompted disbelieving questions. "Five?" And more often than not, a quick parting of change, or a dollar or two.
The collection was the brainchild of Trish Ward, co-owner of Ward's, whose Brooker neighbor, Stacy Dyal, is almost 23 weeks pregnant with quintuplets.
"I just can't imagine the stress going on with her," Ward said. "I thought ‘how can I help this lady?' Then I thought, ‘financially.' "
In addition to setting out the collection cups at the store, Ward said she talked to her other neighbors and Dyal's closest friends and decided to hold a couple's barbecue and baby shower.
It started small — an event just for the Dyals' friends. But three weeks later, when they held the barbecue, more than 260 people attended, Ward said.
All who came either brought diapers and wipes, a financial donation or contributed through a silent auction that Ward had organized with donated items.
The silent auction alone raised more than $5,000.
The couple received about $4,000 in monetary donations that day.
The cups? They raised about $1,000.
"Very few people weren't willing to help," Ward said. "Anyone who is already a mother can't imagine having quintuplets."
Stacy Dyal, 30, and her husband, Kelley Dyal, 40, were having trouble getting pregnant two years ago. Their doctor told them there was no medical problem, but the couple didn't want to wait. So she decided to take an injection of Follistim, a man-made form of the hormone that regulates the growth and development of a woman's eggs.
Stacy Dyal wasn't seeking to have multiple births. She had always wanted two children close in age, and then a third later on. Her husband would have been happy with just one.
During an early prenatal visit, the doctor told Dyal her HCG levels had tripled in a week, which could signify multiples. Six weeks into her pregnancy, the doctor told the Dyals they were having quintuplets.
The first thing Stacy said she did was laugh and cry at the same time.
"I was so overwhelmed," she said. Her husband looked like he was about to pass out, she said.
The option of selective reduction was raised and quickly dismissed.
"We're blessed to have five," said Kelley Dyal, an engineer who works for Clay Electric Co-op in Keystone Heights. His shock at the news lasted a short 24 hours.
Now, he said he's ready for the babies to come.
"There's a reason we're having five," he said.
The Dyals are having four girls and a boy, due in January, and have already picked out their names: Kaleb, Kyndall, Kayleigh, Kyleigh, and Kamryn.
It won't be the first time there have been quintuplets born in this area.
The last time Shands at UF delivered quintuplets was about 10 years ago, said Andrew Ragsdale, marketing coordinator for UF Shands Communications.
Meanwhile, with the money that has been raised, the couple has been busy adding on to their two-bedroom house in Brooker.
Stacy is on partial bed rest, meaning she can be on her feet for five minutes at a time.
"Being in bed all day is a challenge for her," Kelley Dyal said. "She's a real go-getter. It's hard for her to sit back and relax."