Special Delivery - Times Four
The Decker Quadruplets
When Anthony and Angela Decker first discovered they were pregnant in 2010, the first-time parents were excited about welcoming a baby into their lives. Instead they got four – three boys and a girl – as well as a lot of support from the Stormont Vail team who delivered the babies, then provided care for the babies during their first weeks of life.
Having one baby can be a stressful enough. Imagine caring for four newborns at once. The Deckers aren’t alone in their challenge of parenting multiples, they found support from family, friends and Stormont Vail staff. Because it offers the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialty program and a high level of care through Stormont Vail’s Neonatal Intensive Care unit (NIC), a number of multiple births occur at Stormont Vail. Special care is provided for 500 newborns each year in the NIC, some of whom are born at Stormont Vail and others who are transported from hospitals across Kansas.
When Angela gave birth to the Deckers' four babies, a team of 20 health care specialists was present for the extra special delivery. Arriving 10 weeks premature, the team approach continued as the babies were cared for in the NIC. The quadruplets stayed for 5 to 7 weeks in the NIC, which is staffed around the clock by four neonatologists, five neonatal nurse practitioners and other specially trained nurses and clinical staff.
When it was time for the babies to go home, the NIC staff helped the Deckers transition into the new challenge of caring for four babies, while continuing to provide support even after they were home. “Every time we had questions about their equipment or other medical needs, the staff was always willing to help us,” Angela says.
Today the Decker quadruplets are fun-loving babies who, of course, keep Anthony and Angela on their toes. Hitting all of their developmental milestones, Angela proudly notes that they have slept through the night since they were 12 months old. “Nothing has been easy, but it is getting easier,” Angela says.
Nearly 2,000 babies are born at Stormont Vail annually. New parents like knowing the NIC is nearby, if needed. For the Deckers, the Stormont Vail team was not only ready to help them make history as the first quadruplets born at the hospital – they were there to help the couple embrace four new lives and a whole new way of parenting.