WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Four down and one to go.
Almost all of the Leland quintuplets are out of the hospital after being born in Arizona September 4.
“It wasn’t easy for her to carry five babies, but it’s hard to hold them and not think of having one of them,” Mike Matthews said.
Matthews tears up thinking about his five newborn babies and what life would be like without all of them here.
When Mike and his wife Carmen found out they were expecting quintuplets, a specialist urged them to consider selective reduction.
“You can’t look at them and say, ‘All right, I’d of gotten rid of you,'” Mike said. “You can’t look at them and say that.”
The Matthewses’ story begins two years ago, when the then newlyweds tried to start a family. A long road, paved with fertility drugs and miscarriages, eventually led to five healthy heartbeats during an ultrasound.
“We were speechless,” Mike said. “We didn’t know what to say. We never knew anybody that had five babies, other than ‘Octomom,’ who is crazy. We didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know what we had coming.”
But they did know they wanted the best for their unborn babies. That’s why they uprooted their lives for a world-renowned perinatologist in California.
When the perintologist moved to Arizona, Carmen and her father followed him there, while Mike continued to work in Wilmington.
The babies were born at 34 weeks.
“I don’t know what it would be like seeing one baby being born, ’cause I’ve never been able to do that,” Mike said, “but seeing five, I don’t even know how to describe it. It was special.”
Mike has been flying back and forth to visit his family.
Four of the babies are already out of the hospital. Once the last baby is released, they will all return home. He’s not sure how they will get here, though, because he wants to avoid a commercial flight.
“They’re very small, premature babies,” Mike said. “They wont be six pounds by the time we come home most likely, so we’re trying to find something that is affordable to fly everybody home.”
A home that will be filled with fifty tiny fingers and fifty tiny toes, plus, plenty of hands on help.
Mike already bought a 12-passenger van for his family. Friends have also given them a bunch of hand-me-downs.
Donations are being accepted at Milam Hardware in Burgaw and Doctors Visions Centers in Leland and Wilmington.