Another set of quintuplets is on the way
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 5:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 5:03 p.m.
Henry Pate was only joking when he told his then girlfriend Elizabeth that he wanted exactly five kids. Although he insisted on having a big family, Elizabeth said she never took his words seriously until now that she's pregnant with quintuplets.
March of Dimes walk set for March 23
The March of Dimes is sponsoring an 8.6-mile walk on Saturday, March 23, starting at Westwood Middle School to raise funds for its programs and mission. If you would like to register or donate, visit the website. To see updates about the quintuplets, visit the Pates' blog.
"I told him he'd better find someone else, because this lady was only having one," she said. "I guess he got exactly wanted he wanted."
Elizabeth Pate, 29, and Henry Pate, 33, both of Gainesville, were expecting the quintuplets on their original due date on June 1, but the quints likely will be born prematurely in March at the 26- to 30-week mark. The couple had been trying to conceive since their first miscarriage a year and a half ago when Elizabeth decided to take Clomid, a fertility drug used to stimulate ovulation.
"My doctor told us that there was a 7 percent chance of having twins, and that there was almost no chance of multiples," she said. "After a week of taking it, I was feeling very nauseous, but I thought, maybe it's just my brain getting excited."
After confirming the pregnancy with a take-home test, the Pates went in for an ultrasound at four weeks.
The first thing Henry remembers the ultrasound technician said was, "Well, there's definitely twins." He saw two quarter-sized circles come up on the screen
The technician kept counting.
"Hold on, there's a third," she said. "One more, two more."
Henry turned white.
"Two more what?" he said. "What, are you serious? How many does that make?"
Elizabeth's mother, Margaret Howard, 60, was just as surprised as Henry.
"My legs went out from under me when she said five. I would have hit the floor if not for the couch," Howard said. "This only happens on TV."
Elizabeth's doctor suggested fetal reduction for her safety, but the Pates shot down the idea because it was against their beliefs and too much risk to lose them all, Elizabeth said.
"God put five there for a reason," she said. "He'll always make opportunities for us."
After the pregnancy started, Elizabeth was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness and blood clotting. She has also gone to Shands at the University of Florida several times for severe pain and nutrition issues, which have resulted in her losing 16 pounds, not being able to keep down food for two months and being on complete bed rest.
Although the pregnancy has been tough for the Pates, they still enjoy the details about their unborn children.
"My favorite moment so far has been two weeks ago when we got to see the detailed ultrasound, the one where you can see the bones and organs," Elizabeth said. "We saw Baby C being a roly poly with his foot up to his head, sucking on his toes."
"You see them moving all over the place even though they don't have that much room," she said. "It puts your heart at ease to know they're OK."
Recently, Elizabeth met Stacy Dyal, mother of quintuplets recently born at Shands, three days before Dyal went into labor. Elizabeth said it was nice to meet another mother with a multiple pregnancy who understood what she was going through and that she was reassured by seeing Dyal's quintuplets healthy and able to go home.
The Pates are having two girls and three boys and already have picked their names: Lily Rae, Ryleigh Madison, John Wyatt, Colton Miles and William Jasper. They recently traded in their truck for a Honda Odyssey van and are in the process of buying a home in High Springs.
"We're just counting the days now," Henry said.