Quintuplet Dad

This is a blog for Jayson Wilkinson farther to the Wilkinson Quints as well as Riley and Kaiya.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My birthday and some unrelated thoughts on mothers and the value of sacrifice

Short Update on Rachelle
To start off, Rachelle is doing well and the babies seem to also be doing well. At 24 weeks, they are technically viable and actually could have some potential for surviving if they were born soon. However, that said, we know that things can change fast and we are still really hoping to get her at least 32 weeks if we can make it.

Bonding with Riley
Riley and I have been bonding over Spiderman, Harry Potter, and baseball. It has actually been very fun and I will miss all the one-on-one time I have been able to spend with him. I recommend that every dad get a good month or two of roughing it with their son.

My Birthday
Last week was my birthday and, at first, it was a pretty bad one. At work, we had a big company meeting where I was ultimately responsible for making the A/V stuff work. It was a bit nerve racking but fortunately, I have some really great people that helped make it a success. Still, it wasn't exactly the most fun thing to do on your birthday. When I got home, the youth in my church congregation all came over and cleaned my house and fixed up my yard. When they originally asked about doing it, I had assumed that it would only be maybe 10 of them. Instead, all 50 or so of them came. I was a bit nervous when I saw how many there were but I think the overall result was positive. When they were done, they all gathered around and sang happy birthday to me which was very nice of them.

I know I almost always write this, but I am still amazed that this has really brought out the best in people. The people from my church are really amazing and I feel like I could ask just about anything and they would help us out. I kind of feel sorry for people struggling with similar issues that don't have what we have with our church.

The sacrifices we all must make to be happy
Another thing I wanted to write about was an article I read about Jane Clayson Johnson, a former co-host on "The Early Show". The article is about a book she wrote called "I am a Mother" that detailed her television career as well as her choice to eventually give that up to be a Mother. The article, which I recommend, is here:


There was one part in particular that really struck me in this article. It was a quote from someone named Jeffrey R. Holland, a leader in our church, that said:

In those crucial moments of pivotal personal history [we must] submit ourselves to God even when all our hopes and fears may tempt us otherwise. We must be willing to place all that we have — not just our possessions…but also our ambition and pride and stubbornness and vanity — on the altar of God, kneel there in silent submission, and willingly walk away.
-Jeffrey R. Holland

I tend to believe that all of us, at one time or another, will have to do just that. There are times when we have to throw logic aside and put our faith in a higher power. I believe that our future happiness depends on it. The peace Rachelle and I felt when we decided to go against conventional logic and do whatever we could to have these babies, was wonderful. However, I also know that making those choices and placing everything "on the alter of God" does not mean our lives will be easier. Putting your trust in God often means volunteering to go through the "refiners fire". The only real guarantee you get is that when you come out of it, you will be something more than what you ever thought you could be. This is the hope that I will continue to try to remind myself of when I am sitting there in the NICU praying for my babies, listening to them scream at three in the morning, and eventually helping them work out bathroom arrangements as teenagers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My trip to Europe and Rachelle's trip out of the hospital

This last week has been fairly eventful which was why I didn't write a blog entry. I was in Europe all of last week while Rachelle was, thankfully, coming home from the hospital. Normally, when people think of Europe, they think of old culture, great art, and a lot of interesting things to eat. Last week we my first time to Europe and the only thing I really experienced was the nice (but fairly expensive) things to eat. In the 5 days I was in Europe, I visited Norway, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. Although I am sure that each of those places has some interesting stuff to see, I didn't really get to see any of it because I just didn't have time.

We were shooting video of some of my company's customers that turned out pretty interesting. The problem was that we were either in the hotel room, the customer's building, or the airport. It was funny because I kind of felt like I could have been in any American city except that there were a lot more people smoking. In the meantime, Rachelle was in the hospital really hoping that she would be able to get out of the hospital. I felt really bad when I called her from the St. Paul airport and she indicated that she wasn't sure they were going to let her leave. In the end, however, they did let her leave and she seems to be doing fine now. She is trying to actually follow the doctors orders this time and actually not do things that are not strictly necessary. It is really hard for her because she likes to be busy and really doesn't like others to do stuff for her.

Despite our hurried trip, we did have a few interesting things happen. First, when we were in Belgium on the way to the customer's building, we were stopped by a large group of policemen. The person driving the car was our local sales guy and he seemed to think this wasn't strange. They put something down his gas tank to check what kind of fuel he was using. Apparently, there are two kinds of fuel: one to heat your house and one to run your car. Although these two fuel types are the same, one is colored red and the other is clear. Using the red fuel is bad because it is much less expensive so they want to make sure you are using the white fuel. The police also had him take a breathalyzer test. This was at 8:30 in the morning. Apparently, in Belgium you can frequently find people that are drunk by 8:30 in the morning.

Rachelle and her aunt Jeanie were featured in an article in the Gilbert Community section of the Arizona Republic newspaper last week. With Rachelle pregnant with quintuplets and Jeanie having MS, it makes for a pretty interesting story that I hadn't really considered before. You can view it by going to our home page on wilkinsonquints.org.

At home, I am still dealing with paying the bills, and getting the stuff ready for moving in to our new house. We are still receiving dinners from people and other things that are very nice. The 16 year old young men and young women are planning (weather permitting) to come to our house tomorrow to take care of our yard and vacuum the house which I really appreciate. Riley is doing well with me also. We have been reading Harry Potter and he thinks it is great. I think it is great too because it gives me a good chance to practice a variety of British accents. Also, it is just nice to simply spend some time with my son bonding over broomsticks and magic wands (because I think we are not going to have as much time for that in the future).

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My visit to Rachelle, her subsequent hospitalization, and other fun stuff

Last weekend, I got to go to Phoenix to visit Rachelle. It was fun to see her again. She seemed to be doing fairly well and the people there are taking really good care of her. Her aunt Jeanie is so incredibly nice to have Rachelle and Kaiya over.

It was hard to be there only a short time but I had to get back. I guess my visit was a little too exciting for her because the day I left, Rachelle went for her normal doctors appointment and they found that she was 50% dilated which wasn't good. They rushed her to the nearby hospital and decided to do a cerclage which is where they sew up your cervix. She started having a bunch of contractions too which was also not good. We think it was the anxiety of the situation or maybe the sadness of seeing her super cool husband (that's me if you were wondering) return to Austin. They put her on a magnesium medication which helps to stop contractions but also makes her feel yucky. I was pretty worried for her on Tuesday morning because I knew that she had the surgery on Monday night and I didn't hear anything from her until about 2:00 PM. Fortunately, things seemed to go pretty well but she still felt rotten. She has since gone off the magnesium and they are trying to figure out if she can go back to her aunt's house. We are praying that she will...but if not, we will do what is best for the babies.

Another "fun" thing happened right before I went to the airport to go to Phoenix. I got in my van and found that the battery died. I had about 30 minutes to get to the airport so I found someone to give me a jump and made it there. When I came back from Phoenix, the battery was dead again so I called my friend Randy and he came and gave me another jump at the airport. I had actually been driving the van because my normal car (a super cool two door 1993 Honda Civic hatchback) refused to turn it's break lights off so that I had to unplug the fuse every time I parked the car. Another fun thing that happened right before I left is that the house we are renting had a pipe from the water heater that started leaking and got water into the walls. Our very nice landlord has been tearing out sections of the wall in the master bedroom to get it all fixed. It seems to be fixed now but I feel sad that he had to go through so much trouble. Anyway, the moral of the story is that if a bunch of bad things all happen at the same time, it makes for a much more entertaining story later.

On the flip side, I have seen some really nice things from people lately. Rachelle received a bunch of bookmarks from the Cub Scouts at our church to use while she is on bed rest. Today, the 16 to 18 year old boys from church came and did my lawn (in the rain) and did a much better job than I have ever done. Several people from church also brought over dinners and I think I may have enough frozen dinners to last me well into August. One person, Jayd McFerson, brought over Thai food from a really good local Thai restaurant (Tamnak Thai off Buttercup Creek and 183) which was awesome.

I have to say that it is very uncomfortable to be the one that receives the service. I feel so grateful to all of the people that have helped us out. Several people have helped watch Riley as one of our original volunteers had to be hospitalized last week with meningitis (I believe she is doing much better by the way). We are continuing to feel the effects of the many prayers that are being offered on our behalf. Thank you again.