Tuesday, October 9, 2012

'Trying for four, but God figured us for five'

Rachel and Levi, Christopher and Asher
This year has been full of surprises for Rachel and Christopher McDaniel.

When the couple from Rhome, TX tried for a fourth child, they were amazed to learn they were pregnant with twins. Neither have twins in their families and Rachel hadn’t used any fertility drugs.

“We both were just taking it in,” said Christopher of the moment OB/GYN Dr. Gladys Tse delivered the exciting news they were expecting multiples. “The doctor said ‘you’re taking this really well,’ and we said ‘how else can we take it?’ We were trying for four, but it turns out God figured us for five.”

On October 2 at 32 weeks gestation, the couple came in to pre-register for delivery at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance at Dr. Tse’s suggestion. What the McDaniels thought would be a quick in-and-out trip turned out to be much more – Rachel was in labor! “Apparently the boys heard we were here, because when we got to the hospital they were ready!” Christopher said.

Rachel had been feeling uncomfortable and feeling pressure that day, but hadn’t been feeling pain or contractions. Hospital staff suggested she stay to be monitored just in case, and sure enough, the boys were on their way.

Rachel taking Levi's temperature in the NICU
At 8:37 and 8:39 p.m. respectively, Levi Parker and Asher Lane were born both weighing 4 lbs 4 oz. They were Texas Health Alliance’s very first set of twins delivered and first to stay in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, where they are growing and learning to breathe and eat.

Rachel was discharged from the hospital on Friday, and by Saturday she was “sulking and in pain,” she said. But some skin-to-skin time ("Kangaroo Care") with the twins Saturday evening helped. “Physically I felt better and was in less pain. I even made extra milk. It makes me feel better to be here with them,” she said.

“It’s refreshing for both of us,” Christopher agreed.

Life will be “a little hectic” when the twins come home, Christopher said. Five-year-old Andrew, 6-year-old Caleigh and 7-year-old Jacob already make life interesting – but the McDaniels know how to expect the unexpected.

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