Preparing for quadruplets; big life changes before baby

Having quadruplets doesn't just mean more diapers and formula; the pregnancy itself takes a toll on the mind and body. FOX 10 met with one Phoenix couple expecting quads and learned how the babies to be have already changed their lives.

"The two down here are really, really, low, so just sometimes try to hold them from kind of falling down further," said Shayla Mead.

It's a rare glimpse of Shayla Mead on her feet. The mom-to-be is 23 1/2 weeks pregnant with quadruplets, and getting around the house has become a major endeavor.

"If I'm doing anything for more than a minute or two my heart with start racing, so I just need to basically sit down," she said.

Shayla and her husband Kurt struggled to conceive for years, and then one doctor's fertility injections finally worked, landing the couple in a surprising first ultrasound visit.

"I have multiples in my family and so does he, so we knew that there was a good chance of twins and maybe triplets, but quadruplets we were completely shocked," said Shayla.

The physical toll of carrying two boys and two girls hit Shayla almost immediately. Walking up the stairs has become an exhausting feat, and daily tasks like laundry and vacuuming are impossible.

"My cervix is starting to open so at 23 weeks I could be delivering at any point which I don't want to happen... there's times that I definitely get scared and stressed because of the risk that is involved," she said.

With Shayla on bed rest, Kurt is the ever-ready partner, bringing water to his now constantly-thirsty wife, and feeding the mom plus four around the clock.

"Oranges to start the day, and then from there that will last about an hour, and then you go into salad, cucumbers, lettuce, and that will last about an hour," said Kurt Mead.

With family back in Michigan, Shayla and Kurt lean on local friends for support. Many of them have donated diapers, toys, and clothing to the couple.

"Just hundreds of different little outfits, we started collecting and washing and putting them away so as they grow they have clothes," he said.

When the babies come home from the hospital they'll all stay together in one nursery and in fact in this one crib, because Shayla's heard from her quad mom friends that it really helps with the development and bonding if the babies can stay together. Eventually two of the babies will stay in this crib, and then two of them will end up in another crib that dad is putting together right now.

Shayla is scheduled to have a C-Section in May at the latest, possibly much earlier. In the meantime she continues her weekly doctor visits and is anxious and excited for the day she'll meet her children.

"It's kind of fun to guess which one is kicking, I can. I'm at the point now that I can tell which one is kicking, and I think it's the best feeling in the world," said Shayla.

Shayla and Kurt haven't selected names for the quadruplets yet. The focus right now seems to be more on the practical, like stockpiling diapers, and trading Kurt's extended cab pickup truck for a minivan.
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