Happy 28 Weeks! Oops...I Mean, Happy New Year!!

So here we are, New Year's Eve 2008, ready to ring in the new year and wave a fond farewell to the year that saw everything in our lives change for good and change for the better! 2009 promises to bring just as much change along with 5 times the chaos, blessings, laughter, frustration, confusion, organization, reorganization, smiles, smiles, grey hairs, more smiles, and immeasurable times the love!

More important for us tonight than the New Year holiday is the fact that we have reached the most important milestone to date for this crazy journey - week 28! Achieving this milestone has dominated our focus from the beginning as it marks a point at which our chances of "intact survival" of all babies are very high (intact survival means survival with no major, lasting defects). Adding to our excitement over reaching this date is the fact that Casey is not in the hospital yet and we were able to spend Christmas at our house this year which was another one of our goals. That's Eliot poking her head out of one of the windows in her new playhouse...Santa was very good to our little girl!

We had a crazy day today and Casey is paying the price, but she is relaxing now and looking forward to an easier day tomorrow after a good, Ambien-induced, full night's sleep tonight. We started off our morning with an interview at our home with KXAN, the local NBC channel. They are doing a story on the new labor and delivery wing of the hospital that will be delivering the babies, Seton on 34th, and they wanted to include our story as part of the feature on Seton. After that, we met reporters from KVUE (ABC) at Dr. Berry's office for another interview while we checked in on the babies. Finally, the KVUE team followed us back home to wrap up the interview. All of that activity really impacts Casey so she's had a rough afternoon and won't be moving around much for the next few days! Here is the link to the news story that ran today:

Everything went very well at Dr. Berry's office. The babies are growing as expected with their weights ranging from 1 pound, 13 ounces to 2 pounds, 6 ounces. However, I'm a little disappointed in Jack for giving up the lead in weight gain to one of the girls. He came in a strong second, however, at 2 pounds, 3 ounces and I fully expect that he will regain the lead by the time we see him next! Actually, I have to cut him a little slack. It's a little difficult to make out, but Jack is the middle circle in the sonogram picture attached. That's his head being smushed by one of the girls heads on the left and one of the other girls' belly on the right. The poor boy is just outnumbered!

Dr. Berry doesn't want Casey in the hospital unless it is absolutely necessary for her to be there so we are continuing with the waiting game that we've been playing the last couple of weeks. Our next goal is to make it to 32 weeks and get the babies weights up to four pounds each. If you're doing the math, that means doubling their weight in the next four weeks! I don't know how it's possible for Casey's belly to keep growing, but it will have to do just that if the babies are going to reach their goals.
Though we can breathe a pretty big sigh of relief, let me add a little reality check before I wrap up this update. If the babies delivered today, they would be 3 months premature. Though the odds of intact survival are very good at this point, our doctors have made it very clear that they want the babies in Casey's belly as long as is physically possible to avoid any possible complications. The babies still have a lot of growing to do and there is no better place to do that than in Casey's belly. No matter when they are born, the babies will likely spend several weeks in the NICU to complete their development, but that time can be exponentially reduced by maintaining the pregnancy as many days as possible (1 day in the womb is equal to 3 days in the NICU).

Once again, we want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. We are continually reminded just how blessed we are to live this experience and to feel the prayers of so many. Today is a good day at the Jones house, thanks in large part to everyone out there who has loved on us through this entire process. Please continue to pray for Casey's comfort and health and the continued growth of the Quints!

Oh, one more thing I almost forgot. Casey got a steroid shot today and I get to give her another one tomorrow. We did a round of steroids at week 24 and we'll do another at week 32. The steroids help accelerate the babies brain, lung, and intestinal development and helps prevent brain bleeding (which is one of the causes of cerebral palsy). I'm not exactly sure how it works, but basically the drug is effective for a few weeks after the shots are given, but only if the babies are born during that time. This is also good news that we were able to get these shots done. It's also good news that I get to give the next shot...ha, ha, ha!! ;-)

Many blessings to you all in 2009!!
God Bless,


Baby and Casey Update - 26.5 Weeks

First, a little perspective for you from a picture that was taken five minutes ago. The other glowing blonde with Casey is Payton Merriman, one of our good friends from Riverbend Church. She and her husband, Mark, are two of our everyday heroes and angels who have been helping with frequent meals and frequent play dates for Eliot with their daughter, Harper. The reason for the picture is this: Payton and Casey have the exact same due date (if we were only having one baby), March 27th. That's right, she is 26.5 weeks pregnant just like Casey. What a difference four more babies makes!

We went to see Casey's Ob/Gyn today, Dr. Stephanie Reich, for our regular visit to check in on the babies and Casey's health. Dr. Reich delivered Eliot and Casey always felt very comfortable with her so we were thrilled early on when we found out she would keep working with us through the quint pregnancy. She and our perinatologist, Dr. Berry, have worked together every step of the way and both of them will be in the delivery room with Dr. Reich taking the lead.

As has been the case with every visit to date, the babies and Casey are both doing very well! The babies seem to be running out of room though - we could really tell this time just how crammed they are on top of each other. Casey has baby parts up against both kidneys, pressed down against the bottom of her cervix, just below her sternum, and all points in between. There are literally three babies stacked on top of each other from her waist to her chest and one baby on each side of this stack. Later today, Casey had her hands on her hips and could feel the babies on the sides moving at the same time...crazy!

Though she is having a real hard time moving around, breathing, eating, sleeping, and just about every other activity necessary for survival, both doctors are astounded at how well Casey is handling this pregnancy. Dr. Reich told us today that she is really surprised that she's not in the hospital yet. Her blood pressure was very healthy when they checked it today, her cervix is still completely closed, her symptoms are stable, and she is growing as she needs to be. Her belly grew 2.5 centimeters in the last two weeks!

As the babies are starting to require more calories to complete their development, Casey was given orders to eat more calories. Normally, that'd be great news, but it's really hard for her to eat much at one time because her stomach is being smashed down by all those babies. She is also having an aversion to sweets so I can't even tempt her with bowls of ice cream and holiday candy!
So, for now we continue the waiting game. And though the wait is always the hardest part, we love the fact that Christmas will be at our home this year and not at the hospital. We love it that Casey and the babies are doing so well. And we love it that we are almost to week 28 and the pregnancy is almost over! We love more than anything that God has blessed us so richly with this pregnancy and that we have been able to share these blessings with so many wonderful people. It's going to be a wild January (and hopefully early February), but we are more excited with each passing day about finally getting to see these little ones who have garnered so much attention. And when the time is finally right for this guy and these gals to meet the world, bring on the CHAOS...the good chaos that is!!
God Bless,


It Comes in Waves...

After a fairly quiet week, we had a lot of activity today which seems to be the way things go these days...really quiet for a few days, then a wave of activity before things quiet down again. So, here is a quick recap of the daily happenings in the Jones Life:

- Today, we passed another milestone - week 26!! The next two weeks are the most critical two weeks we've had to date...statistically, the survival rate skyrockets and the defect rate plummets during these next two weeks...say your prayers, please!

- The producer for A Baby Story called today and said that it looked like they were going to get the green light and that she was planning on flying in on Monday with a film crew to do two days of interviews and filming for "Act 1" of the story they were going to do on us. Very exciting!! However, at the end of the day, she called back and said that a last minute legal glitch has put everything on hold for about a week. She still thinks everything will work out fine, but can't risk spending the money on flights, etc. until she knows for sure. Bummer, big time, but we think it will happen. Hopefully they'll get it worked out and get a crew down here before Casey goes to the hospital!!

- We were surprised today by a friend of ours who has been collecting baby stuff for us through her work, the good folks at Humana! She brought tons of diapers, wipes, and other cool stuff! Not only has she been collecting from her co-workers, but she also sent out an email to one of their vendors who were hosting an office party at Humana's headquarters, Austin Radiological Association, and asked them to donate. Apparently, someone at Austin Radiological knows Casey and rallied up three huge baskets of clothes, blankets, bibs, burp rags, etc...so awesome! Unfortunately, however we do not know who it is so if you happen to be reading this and you know who this incredible person is, please let them know how grateful we are! Thank you also, Ginger, for organizing this and bringing everything out to the house!!

- I had my paint crews start today on the nursery. They got the first coat of paint on everything and will be back on Monday to finish up.

- Another friend of ours called today to say she was headed our way with a high chair for us. That makes four high chairs...only one more to go!
- This weekend, my honey-do list includes cleaning and organizing the garage and a trip to Babies'R'Us to buy the cribs and bedding so we can start putting them together...yippy ;-)

- Eliot has had a great week topped off by two sleepovers at her friend Maddy Brown's. Our friends, Stacy and Mike Brown have been so incredible and have taken care of Eliot several nights in the last month when I had class. They picked her up Thursday after school and will be bringing her back tomorrow morning. Lots of fun with the little girls, but I'm guessing the Brown family is worn out!!
I hope everyone had a great week and is looking forward to a relaxing weekend!!
God Bless,


Waiting for the Call - Update on Casey, 25-1/2 Weeks

I get asked every day several times a day how Casey is feeling and my typical answer is that "she's hanging in there." Lately though, I've had to hesitate before I can say that. It's becoming more and more difficult for Casey to hang in there as her body just continues to grow and change so rapidly and the babies run out of room in her womb. She has been experiencing near constant Braxton-Hicks contractions and sleep is very difficult to come by these days (thank God for the Ambien she gets to take every other day!). Despite all of this, her spirit does remain strong and she continues to amaze me with her positive attitude!!

We went to see Dr. Berry today and check in on the quints and as usual, all went very well. The babies are all growing as they should be and Casey's body is doing as well as can be expected. However, Dr. Berry put me on notice that I am officially waiting for the call, probably an anxious one from an anxious wife (and hopefully not a panicked or hysterical wife) telling me that it's time to go to the hospital. Don't get me wrong, delivery is not imminent, but a hospital visit is expected soon.

Let me explain. Dr. Berry fully expects that Casey will go into active labor in the next 2-1/2 weeks. We will know this because she will start having serious contractions, she may start bleeding, her water may break, or any of the other normal signs of active labor will appear. The only problem with this is that we are by no means ready for her to deliver. So, when I get the call, I'll drop whatever it is I'm doing, I'll head home to pick her up (assuming I'm at work), and we'll be headed to the hospital for what will hopefully be an extended stay.

Assuming her water hasn't broken (we really do not want that to happen), we do not expect the visit to the hospital to qualify as an emergency per se, but it will be a very tense time as we wait for the drugs that are administered to stop her labor from progressing to take effect and quiet her body back down. Because it is so critical to get the babies to at least 28 weeks, we will all be tied up in knots until things settle down and labor is stopped. Dr. Berry said that once labor has been stopped, it is typical for the body to relax for about two weeks before it tries to labor again. From that point on, Casey will reside at Seton on 34th until her body decides it will be put on hold no longer and the babies are evicted.

So, the good news is this: we expect that making it to 28 weeks will not be a problem at all. 28 weeks is the second major goal we've had (the first coming at 24 weeks) and it means that the babies likelihood of survival is very high and the risk of defects is very low. Week 28 arrives on New Year's Eve!!

And here is the challenge: we really don't want the babies born before 32 weeks and the time Casey spends in the hospital will be incredibly difficult for her. Every day that the babies stay in her womb removes three days of time they will have to spend in the NICU. However, the drugs that they will administer to prevent the progression of labor will exact a painful toll on Casey's short term health. On top of all of that, being away from home will make it much more difficult for Eliot and me to be with Casey to love on her as she is going to need through this incredible battle.

So as I wait for the call, I also ask for you to pray for Casey and the babies and the rest of the people involved with the big event. We are excited, we are anxious, we are a little scared of what lies ahead. No matter how you slice it, this is a tough hill to climb, but we're not alone in the fight and we are confident of the good life that awaits us when we get to the other side. Please pray for Casey's body to remain calm and for her spirit to remain strong as we enter the final phase of the pregnancy! Please also pray that we can stay out of the hospital until after Christmas - this has also been one of our major goals!! Thank you all so much for your love and support throughout everything we've been through!!

God bless,


Ready or Not, Part 2

A few of our everyday heroes and angels came by today to organize the stuff in the gameroom. They got here around 9:30 and didn't leave until every last onesie, burp rag, diaper, bouncy seat, and all of those clothes were put in their proper place. They organized, they folded, the labeled, and they did it all with a smile on their hearts! Thank you, guys, for all of your help - my sanity is safe thanks to you...at least for now!

Ready or Not

Lately, the only time I've felt overwhelmed by what is happening in our lives is when I go up to the gameroom. This used to be where Casey and I would work out every morning (something she and I used to do before news of the quints arrived and before school began). Now, it is where all of the baby stuff that we have begun to accumulate has been placed temporarily until everything can be organized and some sort of system can be figured out to handle all "Quint Care Operations."

I'm not sure what it is about the gameroom that kickstarts my heart into panic mode, but it does it every single time I walk up there. Maybe it's because I'm a guy and being a guy means that I respond to visuals more than anything. The gameroom, more so than Casey's expanding belly (remember, to this point, I've seen her this big before with Eliot's pregnancy), has become a visual reminder of just how crazy our life is going to be. There are piles and piles of clothes, eight or nine bouncy seats, diapers, diapers, and more diapers, blankets, bedding, bibs, burp rags, more blankets, three pack'n'plays - 90% of all of this stuff has been donated or gifted - and other stuff absolutely necessary (at least that's what I'm told) to surviving life with five newborns.

It could also be the fact that I'm a "everything has its place and everything should be in its place" kind of guy and these randomly placed piles of stuff simply freaks me out! Actually, I know that's part of the problem!

The other thing it could be is that the piles of stuff are a clear reminder of just how much life is going to change, and more to the point, how much of our old life Casey and I are going to have to give up in order to embrace this new life. Seeing all of this stuff piled all over my weights, crowding out my space is just too much for me to handle at the moment without having to talk myself down for a few moments.

We never planned on having a big family and we never would have written this script for ourselves so seeing the baby making operation begin to exert its will on our home is a not so subtle reminder of the force it will exert on every aspect of our lives. To be sure, there is a lot to be excited about and we are thankful for this amazing time in our lives, but also to be sure, we have had our share of "why?, how?, and are you kidding me?" moments as this journey has progressed.

Thursday night we had our Bible study group over for dinner and after dinner was over, they helped us rearrange some furniture in preparation for the babies. What I wasn't prepared to do was clear my weights out of the gameroom, but they just started grabbing everything and moving it to the garage. To say the least, I was a bit pouty while this was happening and I'm not so sure I'm not still pouty.

It's so strange how little things like that can hit so hard sometimes, but it did. I guess my reaction to all of this is a strong indication that I'm not quite ready for what's coming, but can you ever truly be ready for five babies at one time?? No, I don't think you can, but that's life, right? The lessons learned the best are sometimes the lessons that force themselves on you when you least expect it.

But here's the deal, we have a lot coming our way and there will certainly be some heartache that accompanies this change, but how can we be anything but grateful and humbled by it all? How many have lost loved ones in the blink of an eye or had to stand helplessly as their house burns to the ground in the middle of night or found out that their baby has a disability that will be with them throughout life? The list could go on forever of all of the calamities and heartaches that strike in an instant, without warning, without mercy and turn people's lives upside down forever. How on earth do you deal with something like that? I won't even attempt to get into the "why?, how?, and are you kidding me?" of that...

Not only are we not dealing with calamity or heartache, we have five precious little lives coming into our world, but we've had a chance to prepare (as best we can at least). We've had a chance to say a prayer (actually, lots of prayers) to ask for guidance, to seek acceptance, and to get the help we need in coming to grips with everything - something a lot of people don't have the luxury of doing when their life is rapidly unraveling. We've had the incredible experience of watching family, friends, and strangers rally around us in support, prayer, and love not only for us, but also for five lives unborn. And amidst all of the preparation and the worry and the how of it all, we've had the joy of dreaming of what amazing gifts are being prepared for us by our Father in Heaven.

So, yeah, I get overwhelmed and we worry and sometimes we complain a little bit. But at the end of the day, it all comes back around and we remember just how good we've got it...and just how good it's going to be. As for my weight room, it's a thing of the past as are many other parts of what I used to call normal life. But as for today, excited anticipation (and the occasional hyperventlation) is here to stay. And our future, well, ready or not here it comes!!
God bless,


Uplifting? Check!

Casey just told me this little tidbit from a friend today and I had to share. This is the cool kind of thing we get to experience several times a week...

One of Casey's mom's good friends came from Denton today to our baby shower. She drove four hours to get here, stayed for an hour or so, then drove four hours home...totally awesome, but not the reason for this blog.

This is why I write tonight - she told Casey that she prays for the babies every day and that one time while she was praying, she felt an overwhelming sense that she should "pick one." So she did - she picked Lila Addison as her "one". And from that day forward, she has said her prayer for the babies and then she says a prayer specifically for Lila. How cool is that? Little girl isn't even born yet and she already has a prayer warrior assigned to her...VERY COOL!!

This is exactly what I mean when I say the response and the love that we have gotten from everyone has been so uplifting! It gives us such an incredible sense of the power at work in these babies' lives when we have these encounters! Thank you, Jan, for the love that you've shown our family, the quints, and especially little Lila Addison!!

God Bless,


Everyday Heroes and Angels

One of the most rewarding, exciting, and often times entertaining aspects of the adventure we are on has been the response we've gotten from people when they find out we're having quints. From family and good friends to casual acquaintances and complete strangers, the reactions are as varied as the life experiences that foster them and they always provide Casey and I with something to talk about at the end of the day.

Once the initial shock wears off, the obligatory "wows!" and "oh my gods!!" have been exclaimed, and the inevitable question has been asked, "Have you seen that show, 'John and Kate Plus Eight'?," a person's heart really shines through and that's when you get to the good stuff. We get a lot of pep talks, "you know, God only gives a person what he can handle." We get a lot of compliments, "if anyone can handle this, it's you two." And truthfully we get a lot of dumbfounded, blank stares. The best part of it all is that you never know what you're going to get from the person, even if it's a good friend or family member! All of these little reactions and everyday encounters have been incredibly uplifting and have served our hearts well!
The one reaction that has taken some getting used to, but is the most rewarding of all is the reaction of those who immediately roll up their sleeves and go to work and that is what this blog is really about. There is a small group of folks who mobilized and started the planning process the instant they heard the news. As Casey and I were dealing with the initial tidal wave of emotions and trying to make just a tiny bit of sense of it all, they were meeting, strategizing, appointing tasks, praying, rallying volunteers, praying some more, and loving on us every step of the way. As things have progressed, other sleeve-roller-uppers have jumped in the ring with the initial group and have truly become our everyday heroes and angels.

Do you know what it feels like to have a friend call to tell you that several folks got together the night before to plan your life and to organize a team to meet all of your current and future needs? Have you ever been cc'd on 30 or 40 emails that go around in a day between all of the people involved in putting together a care calendar for you to ensure that meals and other basic necessities are provided for you? Have you ever been the focus of an organized, focused contribution campaign? Have you ever had complete strangers cook a meal for you? Have you ever had people from across the nation send you baby clothes? Have you ever been told that you are the subject of a prayer meeting that reaches across the globe?

Well, Casey and I can answer "yes" to all of the above and let me just tell you that it is an amazing and amazingly humbling experience. Though I don't know if we'll ever get used to this sort of treatment, it has helped to realize that we actually have a responsibility to allow these folks to help out. The need is absolutely there, but even when it's been there in the past, human nature tells us to kindly pass on these offers and get through it on our own. The enormity of this situation has forced us to accept the help and at the same time has forced us to learn that denying the offer of help is denying God's ability to work in your life.

Sadly, I've done very little volunteer work in my life, but the few times I have I learned about a little known twist of reality that I wish everyone could experience for themselves. Our God designed our hearts in such a way that the volunteer, the giver, the one bringing help to the needy is equally if not more blessed than the one receiving the love. It's the craziest thing - it turns out that the old saying that it's better to give than receive is true!

I know they won't necessarily like this, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention some of these everyday heroes and angels by name so here goes: Dean and Emily Yeck - the driving force, publicists, contributions coordinators, moral supporters, reality checkers, whip crackers, baby namers, calorie coaches, and the list goes on...; Rick Landwehr - best webmaster in the universe; Wendi Landwehr - project manager extraordinaire who has helped organize the effort, has also cooked a lot of meals and helped out with Eliot and has provided lots of reality laughter along the way; Mark and Payton Merriman - gooooood cookin' and lots of love for Eliot; Dusten and Tricia Harrison - more gooooood cookin', principal agents of Salon Jones, and chauffer to the stars (the stars being Casey and the quints, of course!), Laurie Garrant - moral supporter, good laugh giver, and food calendar organizer.

I could go on for days listing all of the other folks who have chipped in to bring us meals, take care of Eliot, donate clothes and other stuff, do our dishes, bring Casey vanilla decaf lattes and gossip magazines, and on and on and on! And every ounce of effort by these folks has been done with a smile...you can literally feel the love pouring out of them!! I don't know how we'll ever repay a fraction of the attention we have received, but please know that we would not be where we are today without all of the helping hands and shining hearts of our everyday heroes and angels to carry us through. For this we are eternally grateful!!!!


The Light is Getting Brighter

We had a great appointment today with our perinatologist, Dr. Berry. We went in for a regular check up and sonogram and by all accounts, things are going very well. All of the babies checked in with normal length and weight and heart rate measurements and Dr. Berry was very happy to hear Casey's report on how she has been feeling since the hospital stay. Here are some quick stats for you:

- The babies were between the 37th and 75th percentiles in size as compared with normal singleton pregnancies.

- The heart rates were between 126 and 167 bpm which is well within the normal range (one of the babies was sleeping which explains the 126).

- Big Bad Jack is still anchoring the crew weighing in at 1 pound, 14 ounces which puts him in the 75th percentile.

- Three of the girls weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces (37th percentile) while the fourth weighed in at 1 pound, 8 ounces.

Beyond the great news with how the babies are developing, Dr. Berry gave us great confidence that we are nearing the end of the tunnel and the light is getting much brighter! At 23 weeks and 4 days, he said that if Casey were to go into labor at this point he would definitely be able to administer active care to prevent the delivery from happening. What a huge relief after feeling so helpless when we had to go to the hospital just a couple of weeks ago when they told us nothing could be done if she went into labor!

He also felt very confident that Casey will be able to make at least two more weeks, but probably more than that and if she were to go into labor, he felt that he could "keep her pregnant for at least three more weeks". Putting those two estimates (2 weeks plus 3 weeks) together brings us beyond our first major goal of 28 weeks!! To say the least, we are thrilled with this news!

We talked in more detail about the resuscitation efforts that may be necessary if the babies are born way too early, but the general feeling is that the horrible decisions that would have to be made in this event will not have to be made after all. As long as life progresses as predicted above, this will definitely be the case. Casey and I have committed this to prayer and feel strongly that we will not have to face these decisions!

We have been having a great time with this unique blessing so far, thanks in very large part to the many helping hands around us, but there has also been quite a bit of worry and anxiety to go along with the fun. While we have maintained our faith that all is in God's hands, it has sometimes been easier to believe than others. We still have quite a way to go, but today's appointment has allowed us to breathe a little easier as the light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting brighter and brighter! Thank you so much to all of you who have joined us in praying these five little miracles into the world...please keep the prayers coming!!


Capturing the Moment

After seeing many pictures of our family throughout our home and website, people have asked how we became connected with the photographer. Last July Ethan gave me a gift that I will never forget! He scored major points with this one!!!!!

One morning he left a note in my car that said “I know you are going to have a great day!” That afternoon he had a card delivered to me at work. The card said he had a change of clothes packed in my car and to meet him downtown at the Austin Museum of Art at 5:30. I was so excited about an unexpected date night!!!! It was also exciting because we had just found out we were pregnant so I thought it was so sweet of him to plan something special for us.
So after meeting him downtown and walking through the museum he told me we had reservations at Jezebel’s, which is a restaurant that we both became big fans of after another surprise date night he planned for me in July ’07. During that dinner we exchanged gifts and he gave me a beautiful engraved bracelet that I wear everyday.

So, after entering the restaurant they walked us back to the same table we sat at the year before. When we got to our table I looked up and there was the most beautiful portrait I had ever seen - it was of Ethan and Eliot. I was completely in shock and speechless!!! Ethan got a referral from a friend of a photographer, Tracey Taylor, and took Eliot to have their pictures taken together. He chose a 24x20 portrait, wrote me a beautiful message that was actually printed on the portrait, signed it and had it framed. I was first blown away that he came up with the idea and then that he was able to pull it off without Eliot telling me!!! It is a gift that will always hold a very, very, very special place in my heart!

After some of the shock wore off he told me the second part of the gift was to go back to Tracey and have family pictures taken. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to because I had already gained some weight from he pregnancy and I knew after the new baby (didn’t know there were five yet) arrived I would want to do family pictures again. But Ethan and Tracey talked me into it by saying this would be the last time it would just be the three of us and we would want to remember this time in our lives. I am so thankful I finally listened because Tracey took some great shots of our family that I will cherish forever!

After we found out we were expecting quintuplets, Tracey immediately said she wanted to help us document this miracle. So we have been going to Tracey’s studio in Pflugerville every three weeks to take pictures of my growing belly. It has been fun seeing how much I grow from session to session! Tracey has not only been generous with her time in taking these pictures (she has donated all of the sitting fees), but went above and beyond by offering a free 8x10 portrait to customers who bring in a package of diapers for us until the quints turn one! Check out her website and blog for more information http://www.taylormadephotos.com/.


Here Comes the Belly!!

We had another appointment today with Casey's ob/gyn and thankfully all went very well. We got to see all of the babies again while they checked their heart rates and all checked out well. Here are some interesting facts about what is coming our way in the next few weeks:

- The babies are currently about 1 pound each, give or take a couple of ounces. In other words, she is carrying 5 pounds of baby. Most of you know that babies are typically between 6 and 9 pounds when they are born between 36 and 40 weeks.

- Casey's belly (uterus) is officially bigger now at 22 weeks, 2 days than she was when Eliot was born at 36 weeks.

- Our goal weight for each of the babies is 4 pounds which is where they should be if they are born around 32 weeks.

- Therefore, if we make it to 32 weeks, Casey will be carrying 20 pounds of baby!!

- Growth will be rapid, just do the math. It took 22 weeks for the babies to get to 1 pound. Now, they are expected to grow 3 pounds more in only 10 weeks!

- Hold on, I'm not done yet. Don't forget about the placentas and the amniotic sacks (there are five of them) which will grow along with the babies.

- If we make it to 32 weeks (I keep saying "we" as if I'm helping carry these little guys...forgive me!!), Casey will be carrying around 40 pounds of baby and all of their other little parts!! Just in her belly!!

Those of you who have seen Casey in the last few weeks can testify that she looks exactly the same as she always has except for the belly - I don't think she's gained an ounce anywhere else!


Casey is having a really hard time moving around. She is having a a lot of difficulty breathing and can only be on her feet for about 15 minutes before she feels like she really needs to sit back down. The contractions that more or less started last week have not stopped and likely will not stop until the quints arrive. She spends maybe an hour each day on her feet (brushing her teeth, showering, etc.) and the rest of the time is spent on the couch with her laptop, thank you notes, and remote control.

Casey's spirit continues to amaze me! I can't begin to imagine what she is going through, physically and mentally, and I am overwhelmed by what she has coming. Watching the struggle that she goes through just to reposition herself on the couch makes me hurt for her and it's going to get exponentially more difficult in the coming weeks. Yet, she keeps on smiling, keeps her focus on cooking up healthy babies, and keeps on thanking God for giving us this amazing blessing!! Please continue to pray for Casey's health, her strength, and her spirit as we hunker down for what's coming our way!

God Bless,

P.S. Thanks to Tori Wright Gordon for the pictures you see on this blog. She is a friend of ours from the Denton days and has been a great supporter from afar throughout the pregnancy. Check out her blog at http://www.swampbrat.net/!


A Little Dose of Reality

First, a quick explanation on the picture to the left. The diaper you see there is the diapers that the preemie babies in the NICU wear...smaller than a dollar bill!!! The picture of Casey and I was taken three weeks ago when she was 20 weeks pregnant! Moving on...

As if our week wasn't crazy enough with our little hospital excursion, we also had a meeting on Thursday called a Patient Care Conference where we met the team of people who will be involved with Casey's and the babies' care once we get closer to delivery. There were nurses, doctors, clinicians, neonatologists, perinatologists, obstetricians, a rep from legal, a couple VP's of something or other, and even one of the chaplains. In all, there were 20 people in the room, not including Casey and I. Twenty people who represented different teams that will be responsible for making labor and delivery of our babies a success...WOW!!

We had already been told that there will be at least 18 doctors present at the delivery (3 assigned to each baby and 3 just for Casey), but we found out that there will be at least 30-40 people involved at any one time while the C-section is performed. The hospital has organized teams of doctors and nurses who have volunteered to be on-call 24/7, including holidays and weekends, starting at 24 weeks and continuing until the babies arrive to ensure that they have all of the needs covered when the time comes.

A Herculean effort to be certain, which we knew was coming, but seeing all of the folks in the room and hearing them describe their role in the birth of the quints served as a little dose of reality as to the magnitude of the situation we are faced with. The doctors discussed several of the different risks involved with premature birth as well as the probabilities of survival and disability and they have asked us to make a few decisions in regards to resuscitation efforts (resuscitation was defined for us as any use of breathing tubes or other equipment necessary to keep the babies alive).

Probably the most striking statistic that was thrown at us was the survival and disability rate as it relates to gestational age of the baby when it is born (the number of weeks that Casey has been pregnant which is 22 weeks as of today). At 24 weeks, the survival rate is 25% and of those that survive, 95% have long term disabilities which may include Cerebral Palsy and severe mental retardation. At 28 weeks, the survival rate is 95% while the disability rate is only 5%. What a difference 28 days can make!!

Casey and I have already made the decision that no resuscitative efforts will be attempted prior to 24 weeks. The likelihood that any of the babies could survive if born that early in their development is highly unlikely and if they did survive, it would only be through incredible intervention that would be very hard on the babies. Beyond that, we have been asked to decide what level of resuscitative efforts we will allow assuming they make it past 24 weeks. Will we allow a breathing tube, chest compressions, or anything beyond that? I don't know what all of the different levels are, but it is something we will be talking with our doctor about at our next appointment on Monday.

After the meeting, a couple of the nurses took us through the NICU and allowed us to see a few of the babies they were treating. That was an incredible sight to see!! These babies were SOOO little!! It was cool to see the wall of baby prints that they had on display and see how tiny their little hands and feet were. It's hard to imagine we're going to have five of these little guys in a couple short months!

All in all, the meeting went very well and we were thrilled with the level of concern that the hospital is taking in preparation of our arrival. We had been counseled on the risks and probabilities of survival and disability when we first found out about the quints so we were not disheartened by this news. We were actually advised to undergo a selective reduction at the very beginning to get down to two babies because the risks are so high. Clearly, this was not an option for us!!

As far as our mindset is concerned, not much has changed. We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a dramatic experience in our lives and it has certainly lived up to expectations! Casey and I have leaned heavily on our faith in Christ to get us to this point and we will continue to do so to get us through the next couple of months. We can use all the prayers we can get so please continue to pray for the health of the babies and for Casey's body to remain calm as it continues to grow and change rapidly! Please specifically pray for guidance and clarity with the decisions we must make in regards to resuscitation. We're wading into really murky waters with what is the right thing to do and can use some guidance on this one! Thank you all so much for your love, prayers, and support!!
God bless,


Update on Casey

Casey had a great night and the contractions have stopped. Basically, she was experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions, but way too early in the game to be taken lightly. They are sending her home later this morning with instructions for strict bed rest until the babies arrive. The contractions are expected to continue from time to time so we are officially on pins and needles from here on out. When the contractions become noticeably more painful and increase in regularity, we’ll be headed back to the hospital. I imagine this won’t be our last overnight stay before she is admitted long term.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and concern! It really is fascinating to see how people have rallied around Casey in prayer during these times of uncertainty.

God bless,


Hospital Visit #2

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. We’ve had a great couple of weeks and a very nice weekend, but got thrown a pretty serious curveball today. Casey and I went this morning for a checkup with her ob/gyn and she ended up in the hospital! Casey had high blood pressure this morning at the doctor’s office so they wanted her to be admitted to the hospital for monitoring. The doctor told us to expect that she might be kept overnight, but we might go home later this evening.

When she got here, all seemed to be going well with the blood pressure, but they found a new complication – she was having contractions. They are relatively mild and pretty sporadic, but they are definitely contractions. Now that she knows how to identify the contractions, she has realized that she has been having them for several weeks, but did not recognize them as contractions. The scary part here is that if she proceeds to early labor, there is nothing that can be done to stop it. If that happens, the babies have very little chance of survival. They have given her a couple of medications that are supposed to calm the uterus, but they won’t do much to prevent pre-term labor if her body decides it’s time for that.

At this point, we have no idea how long Casey will be here or if she’ll be allowed to leave at all (there is a possibility they will decide that she is safer here and that she will have to remain here until the babies are born). I don’t know exactly what the deciding factor is, but for now all we know is that we will be here overnight.

We have several friends taking care of our immediate needs and are very grateful for all of the prayers and encouragement we’ve received. Please continue to pray that Casey’s body will quiet down and those babies keep incubating!!

I’m not sure if I remembered everyone that I should have on this email so please forward this on to other friends and family!

God bless,


Exciting, Amazing, SUPERCOOL!!

I've got a couple of quick hits to share:

First, the EXCITING: I felt the babies move!! I'm not sure how many of them I've felt moving around in there, but there are three different places on Casey's belly where I can feel the little bump of tiny heads or feet or arms! I'm pretty sure I feel Baby B, C, and D, but who knows??

Next, the AMAZING: We were reading online that a 21 week baby is approximately 10 inches long from head to toe. That means that Casey has more than four feet of baby inside her belly!! Wow!!!! Thank God for the fetal position!

Finally, the SUPERCOOL: My woman has had the most incredible attitude through all of this! She has dealt with aches, pains, nausea, muscle spasms, vomitting, major food aversions, back aches, a trip to the ER and two days in the hospital, sleepless nights, major immobility, shortness of breath, and on and on and on, but through it all she has kept a smile on her face! She would stand on her head for the next nine months if she had to to keep these babies healthy and for that she gets the SUPERCOOL Mom-TO-Be Award!! Keep smiling, Casey Ann!! Oh yeah, the picture? Halloween party at a friend's house...that's as close to Hillbilly Casey as she'll ever get!!!

Born to Serve

I have to take a moment here to recognize the extraordinary efforts of my mother-in-law, Stevie Krueger. One of the toughest things to deal with lately is just keeping up with the day-to-day house work…dishes, laundry, etc. When Casey was still going to work every day, it was a major struggle just for her to get through the day and she would come home completely wiped out. Now that she’s home, she’s on bed rest and it’s for a good reason. Casey isn’t able to do much around the house because she can’t stay on her feet for more than a few minutes at a time. I know it’s got to be incredibly frustrating for her to have to just lay there and watch the world swirl around her, but that is her charge right now – get rest, take it easy, and cook up babies!

No complaints on my end because I’ve clearly got the easier job here, but it’s not easy to find time to do the dishes after getting Eliot fed, helping Casey with whatever she needs, getting Eliot ready for bed and reading her books before bedtime, and oh yeah, studying for my grad school classes. So imagine my relief and gratitude when Stevie showed up one weekend in early October and just went to work! Sure, she came to visit her daughter and family, but her visit had a purpose to it. She cleaned, she laundered, she folded, she swept, she cleaned some more, she loaded, she unloaded, and she cleaned some more. It was AWESOME!! And even better than that – she came back to do it again two weeks later! And even better than that – she’s here this weekend to do it again!!

Some people were born to lead, some were born to follow, some were born to sing, and some were born to ride…ok, sorry, had to put that in there, couldn’t pass it up. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Stevie was born to serve. She’s been a nurse for nearly 20 years and before that she was a flight attendant, two jobs not made for the faint server of heart. And before that I’m pretty certain she was born not with a silver spoon in her mouth, but with a silver tray in her hand.

Since I have known her (nearly 15 years), at every holiday event, family get together, the Krueger’s annual Memorial Day party, or any other sort of event, Stevie could almost always be found in the kitchen. When my parents host Thanksgiving, Stevie doesn’t leave until every last dish has been cleaned and put away. When we stay at Casey’s parents’ house, we’re constantly yelling at her to sit down and relax, but she just keeps on serving…and serving…and serving. The world needs more Stevie Kruegers, but I’m afraid it is going to be left wanting. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many “Stevie’s” who get their 15 minutes of fame in our serve me first and serve me now society. Thank God for the few he did give us!


In the News...

What a crazy day! Casey called me this morning when I was out on one of my projects and asked how flexible I can be with my schedule today. Apparently, KVUE News, our local ABC station, caught wind of our story and wanted to do an interview...today...for a news story...today!! So, at one o'clock we're sitting on our couch, both wearing microphones, talking with a reporter about our lives. It was so much fun!

This all happened because our unofficial publicist, Emily "Superstar" Yeck, sent an email to Olga Campos (one of the anchor's for KVUE) about us on Sunday. She forwarded it onto Mari Alvarez, a reporter for KVUE, who interviewed us today and the rest is history!!

It was really cool to see the whole process unfold - from the interview, to the excitement of telling our friends what was coming, to hearing ads on the radio for the newscast highlighting our story, to the teasers throughout the broadcast, and finally to watching the feature on the six o'clock news! Probably the coolest thing, though was that we were able to be together with our small group from Marriage Builders (the Sunday school we attend through Riverbend Church) to watch it! Since these are the folks who made all of this possible and have been our biggest supporters from day one, it was only appropriate that we were all together to share in the fun!!

For now, the video is linked at http://www.kvue.com/video/index.html?nvid=302888. You'll have to scroll down in the "local video" box until you find "More Quintuplets in Austin". In the next few days, we'll post the video to our website, http://www.joneslife.net/. Check it out!!


Baylor Rocks!!

This is kinda long-winded, but it's a great story and worth the read...promise!! Enjoy...

Most of you know that I started grad school this August through Baylor's Executive MBA Program. I actually started four days after finding out about the quints (at that time, it was actually sextuplets!). Going to grad school and getting my MBA is something that I have had in the back of my mind for years, but never put any serious thought into. My industry (residential construction) doesn't quite value MBA's as other industries do so it was never something that seemed relevant to my world, though I never let go of the dream of going back to school. I'm not even sure how the conversation about going back came up this time around, but when it did it seemed to weigh more heavily on my mind than it had in the past.

At the time, I was working for a small custom home builder (a job that was going nowhere fast) and was looking for a career move. I was working with a career counselor and also contemplating starting my own business, but nothing had yet materialized. A good friend of mine, Dean Yeck, had gone through Baylor's program a few years back and was talking it up quite a bit and I started to investigate the different programs available. Though I have been a Texas fan my entire life and always knew that if I went back to school I would be a Longhorn, something kept tugging me in the direction of Baylor. Though I wasn't committed, I started the application process and committed it heavily to prayer and contemplation. When the time came to make a decision, I knew which direction I was headed!

Fast forward three months to August 14th. Casey and I are sitting in our fertility doctor's office at our first sonogram. As we watched Dr. Silverberg label the babies - baby A, baby B (awesome - twins!), baby C (whoa - triplets!!), baby D (hold on a minute...quads!?), baby E (time out, I need to sit down...), baby F (six babies!!! Is this a joke??!!) - the excitement, drama, and tension mounted as the thought of bringing six babies into the world had our heads swirling and our hearts pounding out of our chests. What does this mean? What are the odds? How can we possibly do this?

To be honest, one of my first thoughts was of grad school and how I was going to be able to handle both the time and the financial commitment with six babies on the way. I was supposed to start in four days! What do I do now??

Well, I called the director of the program the next day. "Stick with us," he said, at least until we know how many babies remain (the viability of the babies at that time was at great risk because there were so many). "We would love to be involved and help out in any way we can," he said, but he didn't see how it would be possible for me to continue. I called my dad. "I don't know how it'd be possible, son," he said. I called Dean, a man who bleeds green on odd numbered days and gold on even numbered days. He found out his wife was pregnant the day he found out he was accepted to the program; surely he would tell me I could do it. Well, he didn't. He said beyond having twins, he could not have done it. I prayed. Why, God, would you lead me to go through this program knowing what was to come, knowing that I would never be able to complete it? Why, why, why? And while we're at it, why am I so selfish?! Why am I so concerned about this when my priorities should be focused elsewhere? Frustrated, confused, and frustrated again...

I decided to continue on for about a month or so, at least until I found out how many babies survived the critical 12 weeks at the beginning of the pregnancy. I went to orientation week in Waco and loved it! I met the Dean of the Business School, Gary Carini. "Stick with us," he said, "we'll work with you. We'll make it work somehow. Just stick with us." A glimmer of hope - that was a godsend! I kept going to class for the next six weeks as we kept going to weekly sonograms. We lost one of the babies early on, but it looked like our course was set...five babies on the way, getting close to decision time.

Then I got a call from a friend (identity withheld to protect the not-so-innocent). "Hey, stick with the program. Some conversations are taking place and that's all you need to know. Keep going to class." Then I had a conversation with Phil Sanchez, the director of the program. "We're working on something to help out," he said, "stick with us." That was all I needed to hear. Keep going to class and let the rest take care of itself. Keep going to class and keep praying...lots to pray for these days!

A couple of weeks later, Dr. Carini pulled me aside before class and told me that Baylor had decided to grant me a scholarship for the entire cost of the program. The ENTIRE cost!! Are you kidding me? That's almost $70,000!! WOW! That's all I could say. And, "THANK YOU!!" Decision made - I'm sticking with the program! Sure, the time commitment is still there and it's a huge one, but how could I ever turn down such incredible generosity? How could I ever pass up on a full scholarship on a world class education, no matter the time commitment? No way, no how...I'm in for the long haul! What an amazing turn of events! God is great!!

One of the main reasons I was drawn to the Baylor program is that everyone I talked to who was involved with the program told me that Baylor was concerned with developing the character of its students along with their business acumen. They told me that Baylor is a family and is committed to each of its family members as you would your brothers and sisters. "They are a Christian organization, founded on Christian principles and it shows in how they approach the program," they said. They were right. I didn't ask for Baylor to help us out and I didn't expect that they would. Baylor saw an opportunity to live their ideals and they jumped on it. They stepped up, big time! To put it simply - BAYLOR ROCKS!!

I believe that God has been hard at work in my life for a long, long time. I believe he led me to enter grad school and that he specifically led me to Baylor's door. I believe that he has great things in store for my family and that my relationship with Baylor is somehow integrated into His plan for us. I believe that He has similar plans for everyone who allows Him to work in their lives. I don't know how it's going to be possible to raise quintuplets, earn an MBA, grow my business, carve out some time to keep my marriage vibrant, and keep my sanity all at the same time, but I believe that God is going to help me figure that out. One day at a time. I don't know how our story is going to unfold from one day to the next, but I know that we're in good hands and that life is good...very good!


50 Fingers, 50 Toes!

Before I begin with the update, I want to explain the picture to the left. The sonographer happened across this image as she was measuring the babies today. We can count at least 7 and maybe 8 feet in this picture...can you find them all?! Too cool!!
Updates, updates...we have updates! Casey started partial bed rest today (Monday was her last day of work) which means she is supposed to spend about six hours per day lying down (not counting sleep hours). Unless something dramatic happens, she will not have to go on full bed rest until her body just hurts too bad for her to move.
We had an appointment today with Dr. Berry, our perinatologist, where they did an anatomy scan of all of the babies. All five checked out healthy and all of their measurements were right on track for 19.5 weeks!! This is what we expected to hear, but it feels really good to have it confirmed! The four girls weighed in around 11 ounces, while Big Bad Jack came in at a whopping 13 ounces - that's my boy!! On a side note, I forgot to mention that Jack got his first baseball mitt last week when my parents came to town...thanks, Mom!

The next 6-8 weeks are critical for the health of the babies and there are several major milestones that we will be focused on along the way. The first milestone is 24 weeks which is the point at which it is reasonable to resuscitate the babies if they are born this early. In other words, if Casey's body were to go into labor before this point and it could not be stopped, it would be highly unlikely that they would survive.

The next milestone after that comes at 26 weeks. If the babies are born at that time, the likelihood of survival is high, but the likelihood of significant defects is also high. After that, we focus on week 28 which happens on New Year's Eve. Delivery at 28 weeks is the average for quintuplets and we hope to beat this! If the babies are born at this time, their likelihood of survival is very high and the likelihood of defects is dramatically lower. At 28 weeks, we claim victory! Beyond that, every week is critical to minimizing the time the babies spend in the NICU and to further strengthen their development, but the likelihood of major complications is much lower.
Our goal is to deliver the babies in early February at 32 weeks. For a point of reference, if this were a normal pregnancy, the due date would be March 27! Casey will likely spend the last 3-4 weeks in the hospital on full bed rest (with two nurses at her bedside to help move the belly when she needs to turn over!!). We have a meeting later this month with the NICU doctors and staff at Seton to tour the NICU and go over the delivery plan...apparently this is going to be quite a production with up to 18 doctors (three for each baby and three for Casey) plus nurses in the delivery room!!

Please keep the prayers coming over the next 8 weeks for both the babies and for Casey! Casey's spirit is strong and positive, but she gets more and more uncomfortable every day as her body literally grows before our eyes! We have been incredibly blessed throughout this experience and we pray that these blessings continue throughout the rest of the pregnancy!

God Bless,


Practice Run

Did I mention that my parents are adopting two little girls from CPS? The girls actually came to live with them in late July and the process will be complete in February. They are sisters, ages 5 and 7. They had a pretty rough life prior to this, but they are definitely in the right place now! The reason I mention this now is that my parents came to town this weekend with the girls for a visit. We hadn't seen them since they first came to live with my parents back in July. It was great to see how things have progressed with the new family dynamics in just a few short months.

Anyway, my two new sisters plus Eliot's best friend spent the weekend with us and along with Eliot gave us a good dose of what the future has in store for the Jones family. The weekend was filled with princess movies, pumpkin carving, ice cream, jungle gyms, drama, hurt feelings, and tears, puzzles, games, tattling, and more princess movies. Seriously, I think they watched Cinderella 14 times...I don't know how that's possible in 36 hours with everything else that we crammed into the weekend, but I swear it's true! After experiencing all of the giddiness, giggles, and excitement of a weekend spent entertaining (and being entertained by) four little girls, I'd have to say our future is looking really, really good...



Baby Names

We started our baby name list shortly after finding out we were expecting quintuplets. We figured since we needed 10 names we better get started early! It is funny how things worked out because we decided right away on 1 boy name and had several girl names we both really liked. Everyone asks how we decided so quickly on so many names, but it was actually pretty easy!!! :-)

Here is the final list...

1. Jack William a.k.a. "Big Bad Jack"
2. Ryan Elizabeth
3. Britton Grace
4. Lila Addison
5. Brooklyn Faith


Surprise Baby Shower

Today Westlake Dermatology gave me a surprise baby shower!!!! I was completely shocked!!!! In an office full of women there aren't many secrets and everyone did a fantastic job at keeping this one! :-) I enjoyed a great lunch with cake, flowers, balloons, and diapers. Westlake Dermatology and the staff all went in to give us a generous donation that will really help us out in preparing for our 5 bundles of joy! My last day is November 3, and I am going to miss everyone so much!!!!

Emergency Room

Here was another unexpected day in the life of the Jones'!


Hey guys!

Whew!! What a wild day! First of all, thank you all so much, especially Dean Superstar Yeck, for all of your thoughts, prayers, and support today! Casey has had a wild ride today, but she is feeling much better now. This was déjà vu from 2003 with Casey’s first pregnancy. She called me this morning at about 8:00 to say that she was turning around and coming home because her lower left side (kidney area) was in incredible pain. From our experience in ’03 and from the sonograms we’ve been doing with this pregnancy, we knew that her ovary had twisted and we would likely be in surgery today. I went home, grabbed Casey and we rushed to the ER. To give you an idea of the pain she was in, they shot her up four different times with escalating volumes of morphine and one other pain med, but her pain was still off the charts! They did a sonogram and determined that the ovary was not getting blood flow (meaning it had twisted) and that surgery would be necessary to untwist and drain it. If it was not untwisted, it would die and would get gang green and we would have all kinds of problems. There was also concern that it could rupture which would also cause a multitude of problems. As we were in pre-op, they did a sonogram and came up with a different plan that would keep us from having surgery if it worked. They decided to drain the cysts by poking a needle in her side instead of operating. The hope was that by draining the cysts, the ovary would have room to move again and would untwist on its own. As it stands now, the cysts have been drained, but they are not showing good blood flow to the ovary. The blood flow is better and they are hopeful that it worked, but it is too early to tell. Casey says her pain level is down to a 2 if we are considering her earlier pain to be a 10 so she is feeling much better. This also gives us hope that the procedure worked. They are keeping her overnight so that the ovary can be checked several more times. If all continues to improve, we will be home tomorrow breathing a huge sigh of relief that they did not have to operate. I will update you all as soon as I can.

God bless,

Ethan's update email....

Great news! The sonogram taken this morning showed healthy blood flow to the ovary, the babies are all doing great, and it appears that life can begin to return to normal. Casey had a good night sleep and will be heading home today. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers!!

God bless,

How it all began...

We are waiting to get the final word from "A Baby Story" on the Learning Channel (TLC) about doing a 1 hour television program on our pregnancy and birth of the quints! Below are a few questions and our answers we had to submit.

1) Tell us about your pregnancy. Did you have any difficulties conceiving? Have you had any complications or unusual circumstances with this pregnancy?

We found out after trying to conceive our first child that we had a big challenge ahead of us. We were told that Ethan had severe male infertility. We met with a fertility specialist and were told there was a slight chance we could conceive a child together with in vitro. We knew that chances were slim, but felt it was something we had to try before exploring other options. After an unsuccessful try at in vitro we decided to select a sperm donor. It was a decision that a lot of men could have never made, but Ethan was unbelievable!!!! We knew the chances of us conceiving with an IUI were less than with in vitro, but I got pregnant the first try! We were so excited!!!!!! One of the possible side effects from the fertility drugs is the ovary growing so big that it actually twists (1% chance), and guess what happened to us! I was 6 weeks along in my pregnancy and was rushed to the ER in the middle of the night. The ovary had twisted 1 ½ times around itself. Dr. Kaylan Silverberg (fertility specialist) met us at the hospital and performed surgery to untwist the ovary. The pregnancy and the ovary survived! I went on to have a normal pregnancy and delivered Eliot at 36 weeks after only 4 ½ hours of labor.

After 4 years we decided to try for another baby. Eliot has brought so much joy to our lives and we wanted to have the experience of pregnancy, raising another child, and giving Eliot a sibling to grow-up with. After finding out that the donor we used with Eliot was no longer available we chose another one and started the process again. We met with the fertility specialist and began the fertility drugs again. Going into the IUI the doctor said it looked like I could have 5 follicles that might release an egg. We weren’t really concerned because with our first pregnancy we had 4 large follicles and we conceived just 1 baby. I took a pregnancy test 2 weeks later and could not have been more excited that we got positive results on the first try again!!!!! I had blood drawn every week to check my HCG levels to make sure the pregnancy was progressing like it should. Each week the HCG levels were off the charts so we knew we had a good chance of being pregnant with twins or maybe even triplets! Our first sonogram was at 6 ½ weeks and we were shocked to find 6 sacks!!!! Dr. Silverberg detected 5 heartbeats and said the 6th one could just be progressing slower. At our next sonogram there were still only 5 heartbeats so we knew at this time that baby 6 had not progressed. Each weekly sonogram appt. has shown 5 healthy babies. The doctors explained to us the seriousness and risks involved to mother and babies with high order multiples, but reducing the number of babies was not an option for us. We stand strong in our faith and believe everything will workout the way it is supposed to.

I will be going into surgery on September 30th for a cerclage to close my cervix. After the surgery I will be on bed rest for 2 weeks. Hopefully after the 2 weeks I will be able to go back to work for a month or so before bedrest again.

2. What has been the biggest surprise physically and/or emotionally of this pregnancy?
We never thought about having a large family, especially 5 at one time!!! It has been an emotional roller coaster ever since we got the news. Our daughter, Eliot is the most precious thing to us and we thought it would be great to give her a brother or sister. We never expected to give her 5!!!! The craziest thing so far with this pregnancy is how big I am getting so fast!!!

3. What sets you apart from the rest of the couples applying to be on the show? What would make you and your family members great guests and compelling to watch?

Everyone’s story is unique, but we believe our story stands out because there are so many improbable events that are happening in our lives and that had to come together to make this happen. We grew up in the same town, met in the 7th grade, and started dating in high school. We dated all through college and got married six years later. Our life together was so normal and uneventful before we decided to have a baby so you can imagine our surprise when we found out about Ethan’s infertility. Less than 1% of men have this problem and the doctors have never been able to pinpoint a reason why he has this issue. It was a very difficult decision to use a donor, but the results have been amazing! Our daughter has been the center of our world since the day we found out I was pregnant! After Eliot was born, life seemed to return to being normal and uneventful, but once we decided to have another baby, things began to turn upside down all over again. Going into the process of getting pregnant again was just as scary as the first time because there are so many unknowns and the cost is so incredibly high. We had to give it a try because we really wanted Eliot to have a brother or sister. We both had a feeling that we would have multiples for some reason. There were lots of little “events” leading up to finding out about the quints that led us to believe multiples were in our future, but we never imagined we’d have more than two! The timing of this honestly couldn’t be more improbable. Ethan just started his own construction/remodeling company in May, his parents started the process of adopting two little girls in July, his brother’s family of 5 announced they were moving to England in August, Ethan began grad school in late August, and we found out we were having quints four days before grad school began!!! Whew!! Our heads are literally spinning with all of the changes coming in our lives, but we feel amazingly blessed to be where we are in life! We know the next six months will be the greatest challenge of our lives, but we are overwhelmed by the possibilities that this blessing will bring to our lives! There will never be a normal and uneventful day in our lives again!!!


Casey's Last Hurrah

I don't know what she was thinking, but I was thrilled at the idea...Casey wanted to go camping and I wasn't going to stand in her way!! Casey isn't that big on "roughing it" under normal circumstances so imagine my surprise when she told me a couple of weeks ago that she wanted to spend a night in the great outdoors. That's right, a woman carrying five babies, at week 17 of her pregnancy (which for her is the equivalent of week 29), making plans to sleep on the ground and pee outside...AWESOME!! And so off we went to Pace Bend Park with three other couples and their kids (Dean/Emily/Hailey, Mark/Payton/Harper (Payton is 17 weeks pregnant too!), Rick/Wendi/Ty) for a night of campfires, s'mores, and bear hunts.

I'll spare you the detailed re-cap, but rest assured the excursion couldn't have gone better. Here are a few of the highlights: kids and cactus don't mix, Emily is officially a camper, no bear sightings, but we heard plenty of them rustling through the trees, burn ban...? what burn ban?, it's good to be the campers that other campers don't want to camp next to, 30 foot cliffs within 30 feet of the tent - no problem!, golf balls and speed boats don't mix, golf balls and the back of my head don't mix, either!! Dean "Lightning" Yeck has the quickness of a coiled rattler, thank God for Rick's boyscout skills, apparently camping and pregnancy mixes very, very well!!

Casey Ann did great! She spent most of the time in a lawn chair with her feet propped up, but that didn't stop her from helping out with everything and having a great time doing it! This was the last camping trip she'll be making for a long while which is kind of sad, but we'll have plenty of pictures and memories to last us until we can venture out again!



I've always heard that God has a sense of humor, but I never really put much thought into it...until today. We had our post-op follow-up today and they did a sonogram to check in on the babies. Everything with both Casey and the babies checked out as normal and healthy which of course is fantastic news. But the excitement leading up to today was that we were going to be able to determine the genders of the babies during the check-up. For those of you who know Casey, you know that she is a planner and was eager with anticipation to know what the ratio was going to be!
Of course, I got a lot of flack from my friends who were "lovingly" predicting 5 girls. Truthfully, this would have been fine with me, but I was praying that I would have at least one boy in the mix - misery loves company, right? Only kidding, but my prayer was answered today as we discovered that we are indeed having four girls and one boy!! As has been the case with all of our other sonograms, they identify the first baby as Baby A and follow in order with babies B, C, D, E. You'll notice from the picture that my boy is identified Baby E, meaning that the sonographer called out four girls before she got to Baby E! Needless to say, there was some tension as we waited to find out the fifth and final gender...not to mention the sonographer and our doctor decided to have a little fun and lead us to believe that HE was also a SHE!!! Dreamy excitement (and a little relief) was the instant response as Casey and I both immediately began to imagine life with Eliot, four precious little girls, and the luckiest (or perhaps the unluckiest) little guy ever to be conceived...
So, after giving it some thought in the last couple of hours, I'm convinced that God indeed has a sense of humor! I can't imagine being more blessed than we are now, but I have to believe that the Lord is having a lot of fun looking in as our life takes more twists and turns than a Six Flags roller coaster...and I get the feeling that He's just getting warmed up!


Our life used to be pretty normal. We met in 7th grade, started dating in high school, survived the college years and got married in June of '99, shortly after graduation. We had a daughter, traveled as much as we could, planned on getting a dog, went to football games on Saturday and church on Sunday, and by the time we hit our thirties, we were well on our way to having the typical American life.

Then came Mother's Day 2008 and though we weren't aware of it at the time, everything in our lives was about to change. Psalm 127:3-5 started the day off and by the time it had ended, we had decided to try for another baby. One more would have been great; twins would fulfill a dream of ours . . . but ready or not, here come the Jones QUINTUPLETS!!

We invite you to come along with us as we prepare for life with Eliot plus five! God has blessed us with six little miracles (counting Eliot, of course!!) that promise to change every aspect of our lives forever . . . Come join us for the adventure of a lifetime! Visit Our Website!

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