As we near the end of our year-long “Roe at 40” series, I’m going to particularly emphasize stories that affirm the best in us. I hope you will pass this account along to your pro-life family and friends. This appeared in National Right to Life News in 2007.
Faced with doctors’ dire predictions and advice to “selectively reduce” their five unborn babies, Jayson and Rachelle Wilkinson made the choice for life. After 34-weeks and a temporary move to receive the best care for a multiple pregnancy, Rachelle gave birth to five healthy babies July 31.
When an ultrasound at seven weeks into the pregnancy showed five heartbeats, the Wilkinsons were astounded.
“We were in total, complete shock and a little bit of denial,” Rachelle Wilkinson told NRL News. While they had undergone fertility treatments, they never expected quintuplets.
Immediately, however, doctors recommended “selective reduction,” aborting three of the babies to improve the odds of survival for one set of twins. “They told us that all five would die, or if they lived they’d have lifelong disabilities,” Mrs. Wilkinson said. “All the medical authorities were telling us one thing while our hearts and minds were telling us something else.”
The Wilkinsons began to do research, speak with other doctors, and pray. “We received an answer to prayer that we were supposed to keep all the babies no matter what happens,” Rachelle Wilkinson said.
They found out about a doctor in Phoenix with experience in successfully delivering multiples. Mrs. Wilkinson moved to Arizona, and was put on bed rest beginning at 18 weeks of pregnancy. The babies’ best chance of survival was to remain in the womb until at least 34 weeks, which would be July 31.
They did just that. Mrs. Wilkinson delivered five beautiful babies, small but healthy, on the target date. They weighed a total of 21 pounds, 7.2 ounces, which is the highest weight of quintuplets ever recorded in the United States, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
The babies came home to Texas September 1, and the routine in the Wilkinson house since then is busy, with a daily count of 3035 bottles, 120150 ounces of formula, 4050 dirty diapers, and 12 loads of baby laundrybut also 50 fingers, 50 toes, and 5 beautiful smiles. “We’re blessed to have volunteers from our church and community, as well as family members, who help out 24 hours a day,” Mrs. Wilkinson said.
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The Wilkinsons are obviously very happy that they listened to their hearts and refused to give in to the doctors’ negative prognosis. To other parents in the same situation, Mrs. Wilkinson advised them to “have a really positive outlook. Make whatever sacrifices you have to and use whatever resources you can.
“Every day I look at them and think of what a miracle the babies are. We are so grateful for these five little blessings.”
LifeNews Note: Liz Townsend writes for National Right to Life News Today.