A Hawaii couple whose family is now five times bigger with the birth of quintuplets will spend Christmas at home instead of the hospital.
Marcie and Ray Dela Cruz’s 11-week-old quintuplets are healthy enough to be released from Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, just in time for Christmas.
The babies — a girl and identical quadruplet boys — were delivered premature Oct. 10, when Marcie was a day shy of 29 weeks pregnant. At the time, doctors expected the babies would need to remain in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit for up to three months to allow their lungs to fully develop and grow.
Two of the babies were able to go home Dec. 13; another went home Monday. The final two were released this afternoon.
“It’s definitely the best Christmas gift we could have gotten, to have them home for Christmas,” Marice Dela Cruz, 37, told reporters on Christmas Eve from the hospital before the babies were loaded into the family’s newly purchased 15-passenger van.
The Pauoa couple had conceived their first son, 2-year-old Makaio, through in vitro fertilization in 2012, and had set aside several frozen embryos. In April, Dela Cruz had two of the embryos transferred in hopes of giving Makaio a sibling.
The couple initially thought they were having twins. Then one of the two embryos split in half, and later in half again.
The boys — whose names are Kapena, Kaolu, Keahi and Kupono— each have been assigned a color to help tell them apart and wear tiny color-coded cloth wristbands. The girl is named Kamalii.
Dela Cruz said the family has been busy preparing to have all five babies home, but said she tries not to over think things.
“I don’t think about it too much because it can tend to be stressful if I think about every little detail that needs to be done,” she said. “So we’re just kind of going with the flow and just making sure that they have the essentials. They have diapers, they have their baths, and they can eat, and the rest of it is just loving up on them.”
“I’m following her lead,” dad added.
Both parents are taking time off from their jobs — mom is a corporate trainer with American Savings Bank and dad is a roofer — to raise their children.
An online fundraising account set up earlier this year is still receiving donations to help the family with medical expenses and supplies. The page has raised a little over $6,500 so far. To donate, visit gofundme.com/adka4p6c.