Easter photoshoot is one of the cutest activities especially for babies and little kids, so Briana and Jordan Driskell make it a tradition for their kids, Zoey, Dakota, Hollyn, Asher, and Gavin.
What makes their tradition extra special is that the siblings are quintuplets!
The chance of conceiving quintuplets is one in 50 million which makes it quite a miracle, so the first-time parents had mixed emotions after learning that they have five babies coming.
But the couple’s journey to conceive was never easy – they struggled for more than two years.
“It was the worst emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever been on in my life,” Briana tells TODAY. “We’d start the month out trying to be optimistic, like, ‘This is it! It’s going to happen this time,’ then it would come time to test and, once again, it would be negative.”
The Driskells did not see any signs of pregnancy until after their fifth fertility treatment. “We got a baby each time we tried,” Briana jokes.
Briana said she felt the pregnancy symptoms right away.
She said that from day one, she could only eat cold cereal with bananas without throwing up.
Meanwhile, Briana was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition characterized by severe nausea and vomiting and affects around two percent of pregnant women in the United States.
“I lost 10 pounds and was hospitalized for extreme dehydration,” Briana said. “It was pretty awful.”
The biggest surprise came after their eight-week ultrasound when the couple found out that they were expecting quintuplets. Jordan admitted, he nearly passed out.
Briana’s doctors said that there was only a 4-8% possibility that she would have triplets or more if she became pregnant after undergoing a series of reproductive procedures involving intrauterine insemination (IUI).
“I was in such shock, I couldn’t speak,” Briana, said. “I just sat there staring at the screen in disbelief. I couldn’t believe there were five sacs.”
Then, just as Briana was beginning to feel better at 22 weeks, she received distressing news: her cervix was shortening, which can result in preterm labor.
Briana was immediately taken to the hospital and remained in bed for the rest of her pregnancy.
The soon-to-be mom said she wanted to keep the babies until 30 weeks.
However, Briana’s quintuplets were delivered at 28 weeks of pregnancy due to worries about preeclampsia, a life-threatening illness characterized by high blood pressure.
Meanwhile, the quintuplets were delivered by cesarean section at the University of Kentucky’s Chandler Hospital.
It was a quick delivery but the complications from preeclampsia kept Briana away from the babies for another day.
“When I finally saw them, I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “I still can’t believe I am finally a mom. It’s unreal.”
Zoey was the smallest at 1 pound and 13 ounces, while Hollyn was the heaviest at 2 pounds and 6 ounces at birth.
Zoey is the most spirited of the infants despite being the smallest.
“Zoey has been throwing her hospital hat around,” Briana told TODAY Parents. “She’s very determined.”
Briana stayed a few days at the hospital before being discharged, and the quintuplets remained at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until they were strong enough to go home.
The Driskell quintuplets’ 11th month marked their first Easter photoshoot.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” Briana told TODAY.
She said that they put each of the babies in a bug bucket with plastic eggs around them and took them two hours as there they were climbing out and there are lots of crying.
However, she was satisfied with the Easter photoshoot as “the pictures came out really cute!” she adds.
This year, the Driskell quintuplets, who are turning six celebrated Easter with lots of chocolates and egg hunts.
“It’s a different kind of chaos now,” Briana said. “Now, it’s ‘He got the color egg I wanted!’ and ‘I didn’t get this candy, and she did.’”
“They were tackling each other to get to those eggs,” Jordan added. “It was every man for himself.”
Jordan says that the toddlers are “the best of friends,” despite some sibling rivalry.