• John McGary, Woodford Sun Staff

Quints quite a handful for Woodford parents


Briana and Jordan Driskell are the proud but recovering new parents of what could one day be a coed basketball team. The Sun spoke with the Woodford County couple Sunday, five days after Briana delivered Zoey Hart, Asher Blaze, Dakota Faith, Gavin Lane and Hollyn Grace at UK Chandler Hospital. Immediately after the delivery, the parents of the quintuplets were besieged by interview requests ranging from local television stations to NBC's "Today" show. Jordan turned down nearly all of them and Briana couldn't have done an interview even if she'd wanted to. While a team of doctors and nurses attended to her quintuplets, others looked after their unconscious mother, who was on a ventilator for two days. "Both of us are doing the best we can. Really tired, you know. Briana's doing better than she was ." said Jordan. "Crazy," Briana added. "Honestly, my husband has dealt with most of it, because I've been so sick, I just can't. It's been a rough ride." Asked to describe her woes, Briana first proudly listed the latest weights of their children, which, six days after their births, ranged from one pound, 13 ounces (Zoey Hart) to two pounds (Hollyn Grace and Dakota Faith). While the delivery, by caesarian section and more than two months before the due date, was life-threatening, Briana's pregnancy wasn't easy, either. Last Dec. 1, which was the fourth anniversary of Briana and Jordan's first date, the couple learned their fertility treatments had worked - and worked, and worked, and worked, and worked. "It was a big shock," Jordan said. "I couldn't say anything. It was very overwhelming. My husband almost passed out. Both of our mothers were in the room as well, and they were pretty shocked," Brianna said. It was not the last jolt they would receive at the Cincinnati fertility clinic. The Driskells say doctors there suggested she terminate the pregnancy or use "selective reduction," in which one or more of the babies would be aborted in order to give the rest of them, and Briana, a better chance of surviving. "The doctor made it sound like there was zero chance we could have a successful pregnancy with five babies ." Briana said. Briana said she and Jordan never considered taking that advice. Still, by the time they were told she was pregnant five-fold, the fertility drugs had caused ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, in which a woman's ovaries leak fluid into her abdominal cavities. "And it goes up around your lungs and your heart, so you feel like you're smothering," Briana said. "As soon as I was pregnant, like, within a couple of days, I looked like I was five or six months pregnant, because I had so much fluid." Over the next five months, Briana also fought the effects of preeclampsia, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, is characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, most often the liver and kidneys. According to the clinic's website, "If you have preeclampsia, the only cure is delivery of your baby." She also dealt with extreme morning sickness, which caused her to lose weight and gave them yet another reason to worry about the babies. Briana was hospitalized twice for a week each time and took IV fluids at home every day. By the time May 2 rolled around, Briana said, she "looked like the Michelin man." That day, during a scheduled appointment, her blood pressure was too high and her kidney and lungs were in distress, so doctors decided it was time for her to deliver. The five babies were born within five minutes, between 2 p.m. and 2:04 p.m. They'll likely remain in the hospital until their due date on July 22, but Briana hopes to be discharged by the end of this week. There'll be lots of visits to the hospital until the quintuplets can come home with them, and when they arrive, they'll have lots of company. "Thank God my mom is retired. She's going to be at the house all the time, helping. And I have an aunt who's retired as well. Hopefully, family members and friends - it's going to take a village ." Briana said. Friends and family members have put together a diaper drive and started a Go Fund Me page (www.gofundme.com/driskell-quints) for the family of seven. The Driskells said they wanted to thank all those who've helped already and continue to do so, and despite all they've been through, Jordan said, "We're really truly blessed."

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