Back in August, we bid farewell to the first set of quintuplets to be delivered at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. The Seals family headed home to the small town of Maud, Texas, after the babies had spent four months in the Baylor Dallas Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
I’ve stayed in touch with Michelle and Steven Seals and they recently sent me the above fantastic Christmas photo of their babies and older brother, Brady.
I asked Michelle to answer a few questions on what life is like for them. Somehow, she found time to respond by email. Here’s what she had to say:
What is a typical day like in the Seals house?
Our day typically begins around 6 or 7 a.m. We clean them up, dress them and get them ready to feed. The feedings are 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., and 8 p.m.
We have put a cot in the girls’ room, so if they aren’t having a good night we don’t have to go back and forth to calm them down. They eat around 7:30 a.m. and whatever the girls don’t finish from the bottle they get through their G-tube. All the girls still have a G-tube to help with feedings, but Brant does not have a G-tube.
They play and sleep throughout the morning feed. We also have physical, occupational and speech therapy throughout the week, so there’s lots of people coming in and out of the house all day. We have four nurses for the girls (first shift is from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the second shift is from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
Around 11:30 a.m., it’s time to start another feeding (bottles first, then pumps for leftovers). Same thing at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We work on all the techniques the PT, OT and ST have taught us and the babies are all meeting milestones. We bathe the babies around 7 p.m. and they are in bed by 8 p.m. They do not all sleep through the night yet. We have a friend who comes on Tuesday and Thursday nights to give us a break and a good night’s sleep.
What is the biggest adjustment you’ve had to make after leaving the hospital?
We never have any downtime. There’s usually people in our house all day long. (And we’re thankful for the help because it’s crazy around here when there’s only two adults versus six kids).
Have you taken the family out, or does someone stay at home with the kids?
We only get all the babies out for doctors’ appointments, which is usually at least once a month). We did take them trick-or-treating on Halloween, only to 5 houses.
The quints look healthy, are they still having any health concerns or have they crossed that bridge?
They are very healthy to have been born at 29 weeks. Mia has had three surgeries since leaving the hospital to have her airway stretched. They all had a cold about two months ago, but other than that they’ve all done very well.
I get asked this question a lot: “Did the Seals ever get a car to fit everyone?”
Yes! We are now proud owners of a large Nissan van. It fits 12 people, so it’s perfect for our big family.
How has the community responded to having everyone back?
Everyone has been wonderful! For the first two months, people in the community and from church brought us dinner every day. We’ve had people come over and help. People are still donating money. There was a diaper drive held for us and we have a ton of diapers that should last us for quiet a while.
How long did it take to capture this great photo with Santa?
The photographer was excellent. They were ready to shoot the pics when we put the babies in place, so it really didn’t take long to get a good picture. They did well at the beginning of the photo shoot. By the end, they were over it and tired.
****Here’s the latest on how and what they’re doing****
- They’re 8 months old (5 months adjusted, since they were born at 29 weeks)
- They roll everywhere
- They babble and squeal
- They smile and laugh all the time
- Tessa has 2 teeth, Gracie has 1 and the rest are teething (so we have lots of fussy babies right now)
- We’re working on them sitting up by themselves (Gracie is doing the best)