Parenting Quadruplets… No Easy Task
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DALLAS (CBS 11) - Despite being a mother of quadruplets, Mother’s Day is the last thing on Amber Bell’s mind. She is understandably more concerned with the 80 ounces of formula she mixes for the 16 bottles a day she feeds her 11-month-old fraternal quadruplets.
Diapers are changed at least 25 times a day and Bell purees her own baby food. A nanny visits three mornings a week for a couple of hours. Her husband Mike helps out, too.
“Our survival tool is our schedule,” Bell said.
A sleeping and eating schedule, two very helpful doting grandmothers, and a handy husband also help. He made the quadruplets a quad table himself (think baby chairs for four kids in all in one.)
“He’s an engineer and he made it from scratch and it was built to last,” she said.
The three girls and one boy all have the same middle name, Lee. But they couldn’t be more different.
“Trystan was the first born and she was what we called the gatekeeper. She was at the bottom of the pile essentially,” Bell said.
The second born was Kaylee, whom they nicknamed Bam Bam. She loves the camera and loves to be seen and heard. Harrison, their only boy, is the third born. He almost didn’t make it on his 10th day of living, but Bell said prayers brought him back to life.
“We had already had four miracles and then we had five because we got to save him,” Bell said.
Last but not least, the fourth born, was Logan, the smallest baby at 2 pounds and 6 ounces.
“Logan just marches to her own beat,” Bell said. “Nothing holds her back.”
The first time parents always knew they wanted children, but never dreamed they would have four in one shot. The couple had previously had trouble staying pregnant so they were expecting the worst. During their sonogram, they said the nurses were eerily quiet, which made them think that something may have been wrong. Turns out the nurses couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
“When they found four, we actually went back later that day for a second ultrasound to be absolutely sure that there were four. And we were just in total shock. The doctors and nurses were in complete shock,” Bell said.
Bell was put on bed rest at home at 17 weeks, and was admitted into the hospital at 22 weeks. She delivered the babies at 29 weeks and 5 days.
The quadruplets spent the first few months of their lives in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and the first few months home were difficult.
“Every 3 hours around the clock, day and night. We went through 36 bottles every 2 hours and about as many, or more, diaper changes. I mean we couldn’t have told you what time of day or night it was. It was just every 3 hours we were feeding,” said Bell. “I fell asleep standing up in my living room one time. We were so exhausted!”
After sleep training the children, they were able to sleep through the night at 5 ½ months.
“The sleep training is a big part of it, being able to get some rest is huge,” Mike Bell said.
Now almost a year later, this new mother of 4 will get some pampering for Mother’s Day.
“I think if I can get mom out of the house for a few hours and maybe a pedicure or a manicure,” Mike Bell said.
Bell said her life has definitely changed over the past year, for the better.
You can learn more about the life of quadruplet parents on Bell’s blog called Texas Tales.