Quads help put building blocks in place for parental guide
HAVING one premature baby is stressful enough.
But when you have quadruplets whose combined birth weight is less than a 10lb bag of potatoes, worry is a constant companion.
That's the view of parents Amanda and Emmett Rogers, from Clondalkin, west Dublin, who spent eight nerve-racking weeks as newborns Max, Charlie, Alanna and Sadhbh -- born 12 weeks premature -- were cared for at the neonatal intensive care unit at Dublin's Coombe Hospital.
"It was a really difficult time for us. It was very worrying and it was very surreal," said Amanda (35).
"I would come home at night and get into bed and I would think 'wow, they're our babies in that hospital' and it was very hard to get my head around that because they were born so small," she said.
The babies were delivered by caesarean section one minute apart on September 18, 2011.
Max, the smallest of the brood, weighed just 880g -- or 1lb and 14oz -- while the others weighed 2lb 8oz, 2lb 9oz and 2lb 10oz respectively.
On top of that the couple also had another toddler at home.
But thanks to the excellent care the babies received, all four are thriving as they head towards their first birthday.
To show their gratitude, the couple helped launch a new guide by hospital staff to aid parents of premature babies to cope in a "high-stress environment".
The 'Baby Fax' guide -- which is also available online at www.coombe.ie -- was developed by Bridget Boyd, the hospital's assistant director of midwifery and Barbara Whelan, clinical midwife specialist.
Hospital master Dr Chris Fitzpatrick said: "Our experience has shown that parents in these cases wish to be well-informed and involved in the babies' care and so this resource has been designed to help parents to understand the process and give them the confidence to get involved."