Quintuplets offer constant chaos ... and love
Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 8:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 8:55 p.m.
Quintuplets sounded fun to Stacy and Kelley Dyal until all five of their kids caught a stomach bug at the same time.
One night, the quintuplets began fussing. Then screaming. Then crying. Then making mom and dad cry.
Stacy, Kelley, Kelley's mother and a family friend rocked, held and cooed the babies all night, but nothing stopped the piercing screams. Each baby's diaper was changed every 10 minutes, and by the end of a 48-hour period, the Dyal quintuplets had used 196 diapers.
The Dyals would rather forget those two weeks of stomach virus nightmare. Although everything is five times the work, it's also five times the love, Stacy said.
"I've forgot what life was like without them," she said. "I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world."
For Stacy, 30, and Kelley Dyal, 40, of Brooker, their 5-month-old quintuplets have become their world, Kelley said. Four girls and one boy were born at Shands at the University of Florida to the couple on Nov. 15 in the following order: Kyndall, Kayleigh, Kaleb, Kamryn and Kyleigh.
The quintuplets' personalities haven't changed much since birth, their parents said. Kayleigh and Kyleigh are still divas, Kamryn is sweet and listens to everyone's conversations, Kyndall is laid-back and Kaleb is a daddy's boy, according to their parents. All the bright, blue-eyed babies are beginning to smile and hold their heads up on their own.
Stacy keeps all the memorabilia from the quintuplets' time at Shands. In a plastic bag for each child, she stored clear green pacifiers, blood pressure cuffs so small you can only stick three fingers in, Christmas stockings made by the nurses and felt sunglasses so tiny they look like they're made for a Barbie.
Doctor's appointments require at least five adults and two cars. Stacy stays up the night before to prepare the five diaper bags, said Margaret Dyal, Kelley's mother and frequent helper at the house.
The Dyals use a website called Volunteer Spot at which about 60 friends and family sign up to help with the quintuplets whenever the Dyals need the extra hand. People can sign themselves up online to come in on Tuesdays at 6 a.m. for a feeding or to help with household chores, Stacy said.
"I think the hardest part for me was accepting that I can't always attend to all of them," Stacy said. "I can't do everything for them by myself. I have to have help, and we've had an incredible amount of help from the community."
Every day, the five Dyal babies go through about 25 bottles of formula and 50 diapers.
Each of the children has a Baby Einstein Neptune Soother in their cribs, which takes 30 C batteries apiece every week, Kelley said.
"When I'm at work, I'm always ready to come home and see the smiles," Kelley said. "Makes it all worth it. There's no sacrifice."
The Dyals had tried to have children for two years before 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. On the first try, Stacy found out she was pregnant with quintuplets.
For Stacy, who had a liver transplant in 2007, any type of pregnancy was a risk. Her liver doctor told her just one child would put an incredible strain on her body, she said.
Although the doctor talked to the Dyals about selective reduction for Stacy's health, they decided against it.
"We didn't talk on the drive home because every time we looked at each other, we teared up," Stacy recalled. "My liver doctor called me crying on the phone and told me to prepare myself. I could miscarry or die, but she said she would do everything in her power to help me."
The quintuplets stayed two months in incubators at Shands because they were born two months earlier than the due date. According to her liver doctor, Stacy is the only person in the world who carried quintuplets to birth with a liver transplant, she said.
The next step for the Dyals is to build a new house. Their current two-bedroom, one-bathroom house, which sits on the property belonging to the Dyals family for the past 100 years, won't be big enough when the babies become toddlers, Kelley said.
"Their first birthday is going to have to be in the community center," Stacy said.
Her husband added, "Our first adventure with them is going to have to be their wedding. Hopefully they'll all do it at the same time."