Heather and Priscilla Rodriguez gave the world a big high five on Thursday, August 13, with the birth the first set of quintuplets in the West Texas region. The quints – all fraternal girls – Hadley, Reagan, Zariah, Zylah and Jocelyn - were delivered via C-section by Dr. Leela S. Pill, MD, FACOG at Odessa Regional Medical Center (ORMC). The babies are doing well in ORMC’s neonatal intensive care unit where they will remain until they are ready for discharge.
The birth of the quintuplets, along with their three-year-old firstborn daughter, made the Rodriguez household a party of eight. While multiple births have increased over the years, the National Center for Health Statistics’ latest data indicate that quintuplets are extremely rare, with only 10 reported sets of five or more babies in 2018.
“I knew I wanted kids – but I don’t think I ever imagined six,” said Rodriguez. “It’s going to be a lot of bows, a lot of pink and a lot of princesses.”
Heather and her partner Priscilla underwent a procedure known as intrauterine insemination (IUI). The parents started the process in early February with the understanding that IUI could take multiple attempts to conceive. After finding out the procedure was a success, they initially prepared for four babies, only to find out a few weeks later there was a fifth baby.
“Giving birth to a set of five babies is very rare,” said Pill. “It is my honor and privilege as well as an immense responsibility on my shoulders to oversee such a very high-risk pregnancy.”
Pill said the average gestational period for quintuplets is about 29 weeks, but in many reported cases, can extend up to 34 weeks.
“We always hope to make it to 30 weeks, but with multiple birth cases you never know,” said Rebecca Hernandez, Director of Maternal Services at Odessa Regional Medical Center. “That’s why we had a host of physicians, clinical team members, and nurses on call ready to jump into action at moment’s notice.”
In fact, the delivery of the quintuplets required all hands on deck. Michaela Moore, a seasoned Labor and Delivery nurse at ORMC, said there were almost 30 caregivers in the unit during delivery. The aftercare of the quintuplets was just as crucial as the delivery, which is where ORMC’s neonatal intensive unit care team took over.
“There were hours and hours of planning behind the scenes to prepare,” said Laren Sullivan, Director of NICU and Children Services at Odessa Regional Medical Center. “Many of these planning efforts were led by Lindsey McAnear, a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner who previously worked as an RN in ORMC’s NICU. We developed a call schedule ahead of time so we could assure that each baby received the proper care and attention she deserved. We also planned out the area for the babies in order to keep them as close together as we could.”
Sullivan said there were three clinical staff members assigned to each baby. Under the direction of Neonatologists, each baby had a team that included a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, a NICU RN, and a NICU respiratory therapist.
“Everyone at ORMC has been amazing,” said Rodriguez. “It feels like everyone was bending over backwards to make sure I had what I needed.”
“ORMC is so proud to have been chosen as the hospital to care for Ms. Rodriguez and the entire Rodriguez family,” said Stacey Brown, president of ORMC. “Clearly this is a monumental event not only in their lives, but for our facility as well. I am so proud of her Obstetrician Dr. Leela Pill, our Maternal Fetal Medicine or high-risk obstetrics team, our labor and delivery and NICU teams and everyone else at ORMC who has been on standby ready to do what they do best. They are an incredible team!”
“Our entire ORMC family wishes the very best for the Rodriguez family and look forward to watching their children grow,” said Brown.
For more information on maternal services at Odessa Regional Medical Center, visit www.odessaregionalmedicalcenter.org/maternity.