- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - A Pauoa couple welcomed quintuplets at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, a first for the Honolulu hospital.

Marcie Dela Cruz, 37, gave birth to four identical boys and one girl shortly after 5 p.m., Saturday. The boys’ names are Kapena, Keahi, Kupono and Kaolu, and the girl’s name is Kamali’i. The babies’ weights range from 1 pound, 10.3 ounces, to 2 pounds, 10.3 ounces. They also range from 13-3/4 inches in length to 14-1/2 inches in length.

“They’re all a gift,” said Dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz and her husband, Ray, also have a 2-year-old son, Makaio.

Excited to start a new journey with five more babies, Marcie Dela Cruz said she realizes it will be challenging in the beginning, but she is confident all will work out smoothly once they settle into a routine: “I’m a positive person, so I think it’s going to be fun.

“Once we get our ducks in a row, then hopefully it’ll be less chaotic. I know it’s going to be fun,” she added.

Kapiolani spokeswoman Kristen Bonilla said the delivery of the quintuplets is also believed to be the first in the state.

Karen Tao, manager of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, said, “All the babies are stable. They’re all requiring a little bit of respiratory help, which is normal for babies at their age and their size. But other than that, they’re all bundled up and doing really well.”

The quintuplets will stay at Kapiolani for approximately 2-1/2 to 3 months.

Tao said the top concern now is lung development and ensuring the babies are able to breathe on their own, which is a gradual process. “There are signs that they’re doing very, very well. There are other problems with prematurity, but the babies haven’t showed any signs of those yet. Primarily, it’s been lung issues, which would be expected at this age.”

Marcie Dela Cruz gave birth a day shy of 29 weeks. Her physician, Dr. Janet Burlingame, who specializes in maternal fetal medicine, said the average age of delivery for quintuplets is 28.2 weeks. “Marcie made it about a half, almost to a full week beyond the average age so we were very pleased with that.”

Following the delivery, Dela Cruz was in awe when she first saw her newborns, Sunday, in the neonatal intensive care unit. “It’s a little overwhelming at first,” she said of the unit. “And then seeing them for the first time was like, ‘wow.’ It’s still surreal . unbelievable that they were all just in me.”

Dela Cruz kept her family and friends up-to-date on her delivery via her Facebook page: “All the babies are doing well and we can’t be happier.”

In 2012, Dela Cruz, who said she always wanted to be a mother, underwent a successful in vitro fertilization. Their son was born in September the following year.

The couple wanted to give their son a little brother or sister. In January 2015, Dela Cruz met with her fertility doctors and underwent in vitro fertlization for a second time.

In April, she learned she was pregnant. Initially, Dela Cruz thought she was having twins. Then one of two embryos split into four.

The hospital’s labor and delivery department began extensive planning for the delivery about 10 weeks ago, with staff conducting several simulations of the delivery a few weeks before Dela Cruz gave birth.

In the delivery room, more than 30 hospital staff members were on hand, with two nurses for each baby, as well as a respiratory therapist and one or two physicians.

With the addition of the quintuplets, the couple said they plan to buy a 12- to 15-passenger van.

The Dela Cruz family has set up an account online for those interested in assisting them with medical expenses and supplies including diapers.

So far, they have raised more than $4,000. Regarding the outpouring of support, Dela Cruz said, “It’s so overwhelming.”

Those interested in donating to the Dela Cruz family may go to gofundme.com/adka4p6c.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com


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