Couple counts their blessings - all 5 of them
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 6:36 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 6:36 p.m.
When Kelley Dyal first saw his five children's hearts beating on the baby monitor, he thought they looked like small, pulsing fireflies, shining and fluttering in a glass jar.
United Way of North Central Florida has set up a fund to help the Dyal family purchase items for their quintuplets. To make a monetary gift over the phone, call 352-331-2800. Visit www.unitedwayncfl.org to donate online or mail a check to 6031 NW 1st Place Gainesville, FL 32607-2025. Please include a note that the gift is for the Dyal Family Fund.
He turned pale the moment he finished counting the quintuplets, according to his wife, Stacy.
"The first thing I asked was if this was possible and how we were going to do this," Stacy said. "It took us a day to process it, but we were very happy."
Stacy, 30, and Kelley, 40, of Brooker finally met the quintuplets on Nov. 15, almost two months earlier than the due date. Four girls and one boy were born at Shands at the University of Florida to the couple in the following order: Kyndall, Kayleigh, Kaleb, Kamryn and Kyleigh.
"All their names start with ‘K' because of Kelley," Stacy said. Her husband joked, "The next five we'll do ‘S' names."
The quintuplets spent two months in incubators in an intensive care unit at Shands. Healthy, they started going home, two at a time, then one, over the past week.
"One of my favorite memories of this experience is the moment after they were all born when I was pushing my wife to the intensive care unit," Kelley said. "It was midnight, and I had to hold Stacy's head up because she was so sleepy from the medication. It was very emotional to finally see them all together at once in the incubators."
This is the first time in 10 years that Shands has delivered quintuplets. According to Dr. David Burchfield at a press conference on Tuesday, the hospital was equipped for the job because of the coordinated team of nurses and physicians who were all on board.
"Our community can trust us," said Burchfield, who was part of a team that helped with Stacy's care. "We are able to manage and handle these things, and we have a system that helps those families."
"Almost every night, Stacy and Kelley were by their bedsides, picking out the little differences and nuances in their kids," he said. "I feel sorry for the little boy because he and dad are now in a sorority house."
Dr. Anthony Gregg, director of Maternal and Fetal Medicine at Shands, said there were teams set to deliver the children at a moment's notice. According to Gregg, it was one of the smoothest multiple-birth deliveries he's seen.
"Teamwork is what describes Shands at UF the best," he said. "We had an incredible nursing staff who looked after Stacy and Kelley."
The Dyals had tried to have children for two years before they started fertility treatments. After the first infertility drug failed, Stacy decided to take an injection of Follistim, a man-made form of a hormone that regulates the growth and development of a woman's eggs.
"She said she'd like to have a house full of kids," Kelley said. "I said I'd just like to have one."
The first injection was successful, and six weeks into Dyal's pregnancy her doctor informed her she was having quintuplets. Although the doctor talked to them about selective reduction for Stacy's health, the Dyals decided against it.
"It wasn't even an option. God was blessing us with five children," he said. "This is God's plan and we are living it. He's not leaving us now."
The Dyals can tell their children apart by their personalities and small features. To everyone else, the babies look the same, wrapped in soft pink, flowered blankets with a lone baby blue blanket, all with orange pacifiers and preemie outfits that are too big on them.
"Kaleb is very bossy and fussy. If he's not happy, he let's everybody know," Kelley said. "Kayleigh and Kyleigh are two little divas, posing as if they were sunning, and Kyndall and Kamryn are very laid back and never cry."
Now that the children are home, the next step for the Dyals is to buy a car that will fit all seven of them for future trips.
"We can change and go out to eat, and that's going to be our vacation," Kelley said.
His wife added, "We'll go to Disney sometime, maybe when they're 20."
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.