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Parents of quadruplets long for reunion

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by Ruth Scott

SBJ Contributing Writer

Julie Crowley is ready to have her family back under one roof.

Her quadruplets David, Jonathon, Rebekah and Rachel were born Aug. 3 at Cox Medical Center South. Her husband, Jesse, a band director, had to go back to work in Mountain Home, Ark. Her 2-year-old daughter, Alyssa, is staying with Julie's parents in Harrison, Ark. Julie herself has been in Springfield since the last week in June. She was in the hospital for about four weeks, and is now staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

"I can't wait to get back in my own house and sleep in my own bed," she said.

The separation has been tough, she said. "Everybody says, 'It's a good thing your marriage is so strong.' Being apart isn't easy. During the pregnancy Jesse would call every night and ask if I was OK."

He came up on the weekends, and on the Sunday when they found out they would have the babies the next day, he went home, got some more clothes, came back and stayed all week.

"It's even harder for me to have him leave now that the babies are here," she said. "And he doesn't want to leave, but he has to work. It's very hard for him to leave on Sunday."

It is also hard for Crowley to say goodbye to the quadruplets each day. "I'm always over at the hospital. I usually stay two or three hours at a time, because it's so hard to leave them. When I get to hold them, I don't want to put them back I want to take them home."

All the babies are gaining weight and seem to be doing well, so they may be able go home in about two weeks, but it might be longer. "It just depends," she said. "They have to be able to nurse and breathe on their own."

Aside from the emotional hardship of being apart for such a long period of time, the birth of four babies at once has presented a financial quandary as well. While insurance is taking care of the medical costs, the normal expenses of caring for a baby will be multiplied by four.

A savings account has been opened for the quadruplets at the First National Bank and Trust Company in Mountain Home. Crowley said some people have started putting money into the account, which will help with expenses.

"We really need help now with the day-to-day stuff. I used to work at a law office, but now I won't be able to work outside the home." She said she will try to work at home, if she can find something she can do while taking care of the babies.

"The Children's Miracle Network has been wonderful. They asked what we needed and we knew we needed another crib mattress. So they contacted a baby store in town and got a mattress for us. They're also paying for my stay here (at the Ronald McDonald House), which has helped a lot."

Baby showers are helpful, too. "Jesse's school is going to have a shower for us sometime soon, and my parents' church will have one after the babies come home." She said that the babies already have plenty of clothes. "We really need the practical stuff, the necessities," she said bottles, bath supplies and diapers of various sizes.

One dilemma the Crowleys face is that they don't have a vehicle big enough to seat seven. "We're not really sure what to do. We will need something; we don't even care what it is as long as we can all travel in one vehicle together. Right now we're just kind of waiting."

It was difficult preparing for a multiple birth, Crowley said. "When I was six weeks pregnant we found out it would be quadruplets," Crowley said. "Then it took us about eight to 10 weeks to get used to the idea. We had to get over the shock."

They didn't know how premature the babies would be, and they couldn't find much information about quadruplets. "Everyone said, 'What are you going to do?' We didn't really know; we were kind of stuck."

Since they had one child already, they had some idea of what needed to be done. "We started getting the things we knew we would need, and started trying to get ready." Their three-bedroom house is one thing that will be large enough for the time being.

"Our third bedroom was our office and junk room," she said. Jesse is in the process of moving things out and preparing the room for the babies.

"My husband's students are already fighting over who gets to baby-sit, but it will be a little while," Crowley said. Many family members have offered to come help, but for the most part, she plans to take care of the babies on her own.

"I don't think it will be a lot different than taking care of Alyssa when she was a newborn, except there are three more of them," she said. She added that it will be another story when they become toddlers. "Alyssa is going through the toddler stage, and I can't imagine having four like her right now."

PHOTO CAPTION:

Julie Crowley feeds Rebekah, one of the quads born Aug. 3 at Cox South.[[In-content Ad]]

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