Meet the Rodriguez Family
With one in 800,000 odds, Rebecca and Macho Rodriguez were shocked (to say the least) when they found out they would be parents to quadruplets. After the initial shock came excitement, and with excitement came a roller coaster of emotions and responsibilities. With one nine year-old daughter, and four more baby girls on the way, the couple reached out to 4moms Cares, our charitable program, with their touching story.
The “Quad Parents”, as they are lovingly referred to, invited our 4moms Cares coordinator to the NICU to meet their precious babies. There, one strong mother and one inspirational father shared their story of love, loss and life after having quads:
What was it like finding out you were pregnant with quadruplets?
Rebecca (R): I almost passed out. I was 8 weeks and on vacation in Puerto Rico visiting my parents. I died. I called him [Macho] because he was in Mississippi and he hung up the phone on me.
Macho (M): I had to call her back because I thought I was on Punk’d. It was definitely a shocker.
Your due date was in March. How early did you go into labor?
R: I went when I was 23 weeks and 3 days. I cried the whole entire time.
M: It was actually a week after she was admitted to the hospital. She had been on bed rest and the doctors planned to have her here on bed rest until our March due date.
R: I was trying to hold them in until at least 28 weeks.
M: We had been told that for her to give birth even at full term, the babies only had a 5% chance of survival. All of them.
So when she went into labor at 23 weeks, we were scared. After delivering all four - Sianni, Skylar, Savanni and Saige - they were all immediately taken to the NICU. Each preemie weighed less than 2lbs and suffered severe complications - one even had a brain bleed. They all had an extremely high risk of cerebral palsy and could suffer a complete loss of motor function.
It was an especially rough road for two of our daughters. Despite having overcome tremendous issues, our little angels Savanni & Saige lost their fight and passed away after a few weeks in the NICU.
You suffered a tremendous loss within a few weeks of being in the NICU. How has this loss affected you?
M: There are no words that can explain watching your children take their last breath. Our hearts will never be the same. We are both better people and parents for having the privilege to have known Savanni & Saige, if only for a short period of time. They will remain in all our hearts forever but we still have to stay strong and be there for their sisters.
R: We have a picture in our heads of both of the girls, they’re watching over their sisters Skylar and Sianni, their oldest sister Ariel, and us.
M: They [Sianni and Skylar] have their own guardian angels now.
Being a NICU parent of one infant is hard, but having multiples in the NICU must have been harder. What are some of the challenges of being NICU parents?
R: It’s an everyday challenge. It’s a roller coaster. In the beginning, we cried everyday.
M: You don’t expect to see them so little. Everything sounds worse than what it is. It was hard hearing “she’s D-stating” and you don’t know what it means. But now, we go in there and we know what the nurses and doctors are talking about.
R: You just think negatively. We walked up and assumed we were getting bad news. Bad news times four. That made it a thousand times worse.
It must be tough to manage your time in and out of the NICU. Did you take shifts being with the girls?
M: We wanted to do it together. We stayed almost all day and would only leave for an hour or two.
R: It used to be everyday, almost every hour. I was glued to my phone when I wasn’t here. When I saw the number for the hospital, my heart would drop.
How has family helped you throughout this difficult time?
M: Family is the only reason I think we’re still surviving. We both had to leave work, obviously, which makes it extra difficult.
R: Especially his family, they really stepped up. They’ve been here everyday. It is good to have a support system. My family flew in from Puerto Rico! It’s my mother’s first time in the States in seven years and my grandmother’s first time in almost 30 years.
M: I don’t think we’d be here without our families.
Do you have any advice for other parents of NICU babies?
M: Have faith.
R: Yes. Have faith. You gotta be strong. Especially if you have other children, you have to be strong for them.
Meet Skylar, the laid back of the two. She loves company and would rather be awake at night or when it’s dark, just like her daddy. Mommy and daddy recently celebrated her courageousness and strength as she was taken off of her breathing machine!
Meet Sianni, the NICU’s lil superstar! She can be found making funny faces and waving her hands as she gains the strength needed to sleep in a standard crib.
On behalf of the sweet miracles Sianni and Skylar, their angels Saige and Savanni, and their incredibly courageous parents Rebecca and Macho, 4moms Cares donated ten mamaRoos to Morristown Medical Center NICU in Morristown, NJ.
Also, as an early graduation gift, we sent two mamaRoos home with the parents to help with their daughters’ transition home from the hospital in March. Happy (early) Homecoming, Sianni and Skylar!