SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (KRON) — A Northern California couple pregnant with quintuplets is having mixed emotions on Monday night–they are excited to welcome five new babies but are terrified of the high-risk delivery to come.
The Kempels are 21 weeks along. The Mountain House couple has lost twins in a previous pregnancy.
Now, they want to make sure they have a doctor with experience in this type of pregnancy. But they say a doctor like that is not in their health insurance network.
Chad and Amy Kempel are expecting, and their oldest daughter Savannah knows how many babies are in mommy’s tummy.
“Five!” Savannah said.
Aside from Savannah, and 1-year-old Avery, they also had two sons, twins born in 2013.
But Marshal and Spencer were born about 17 weeks early and only lived for a few hours.
Having already experienced that tragedy, they want to make sure they have a doctor and a facility that’s ready to handle five babies at once.
“We like our current doctor; he cared for me while I was pregnant with our two daughters, and I have nothing bad to say,” Amy said. “Everything turned out great, good experience. For me, it just comes down to experience.”
But they say their current hospital doesn’t have that experience, and so they’re hoping to see Dr. John Elliott in Arizona, who has successfully delivered 23 set of quintuplets.
But obviously, he’s out of network for the Kempels.
“We asked for the referral, and they said, ‘No, we can handle this. Don’t worry, we can take care of it,'” Chad said.
In fact, in a statement sent to KRON4, Senior Vice President of Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Colleen McKeown says she’s confident the hospital has “the necessary experience and resources to provide high-quality prenatal delivery and post-partum care, including preterm labor prevention in the event of multiple births.”
But Chad and Amy still want to count on Dr. Elliott, who uses methods to slow or stop early labor for multiple births, something they said their previous doctor didn’t do to try and save their twins.
Amy says it’s scary going down a road nobody else has at her hospital.
“They just have no stats to back up anything, so that’s my fear is…I mean…If we’re a success, then great, and I’ll be ecstatic,” Amy said.
They still want that referral, if possible, and might go to Arizona even without it–if a GoFundMe account set up for them by family members really takes off.
Kaiser Permanente also says it has specialized teams to handle multiple births and points out that there are also five Kaiser hospitals in Northern California with a Level 3 NICU, which all of the Kempels babies are likely to need for a month or more.
Amy will probably be put on bed rest within the next two or three weeks.
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