Baby Update from Jenn & Nick-
Ms. Caitlin now weighs 2lbs 2oz, loves being held and posing for the camera. She is off the blue light and had her IV removed but we are closely monitoring her heartrate as it has fluctuated a bit over the past few days. Overall she is doing great and growing as expected.
Mr. Elliott now weighs 2lbs 4oz, loves charming all the nurses during care times and is becoming stronger each day. He is already starting to roll on his own and he even took his first tub bath this week. He is also off the blue light and had his IV removed earlier this week. He has another ultrasound next week to continue monitoring his grade 2 brain bleed but overall he is one toughlittle guy and doing excellent so far.
Ms. Addison now weighs 2lbs 4oz, loves her pacifier and being held by mommy and daddy. She is our fiesty little one, often squirming and always very alert during care times. She keeps the nurses on their toes as she enjoys pulling at her wires and especially taking her nose cannula out. Overall she is doing fantastic and continues to grow and progress each day.
Ms. Emilia is our biggest and now weighs 2lbs 7oz. She loves sleeping on her tummy, waving at everyone and she enjoys her pacifier. She still has her IV in for fluids at this time but she is finally off the blue light. She has another ultrasound today to continue monitoring her grade 2 brain bleed but overall she is doing really well and is such a happy little baby.
The babies are here!!!! Born on 6/16/20 at 27 weeks and 2 days....
Caitlin Sophia Stepenosky
Elliot Jacob Stepenoksy
2lbs 3 oz
Addison Rose Stepenosky
Emilia Mae Stepenosky
I am here to tell you a story. A true story of a beautiful couple fighting for their miracles. My beautiful niece Jennifer met the love of her life, Nick Stepenosky, in college. They married in 2008 and always knew they wanted to have children and expand their family. In 2013, they decided to start trying. Sadly, like many couples, Jennifer and Nick struggled with infertility. In 2018, they decided to see a specialist. Jennifer was diagnosed with PCOS and they proceeded to go through months of needles and treatments to try to get pregnant. Finally, in the summer of 2019, they got the wonderful news that they were pregnant. It was the happiest day and made the months of medications and needles worth it. Sadly, in September 2019, Jennifer miscarried their precious bundle and they were devastated. After dealing with this tragic loss, they decided to try again. The financial and emotional burden was taking a toll on both of them, but they knew they were not done. Well, in December 2019, Jennifer got the news of a lifetime.... her treatments worked....very well... and she was pregnant with quintuplets!
To say they were shocked and surprised is an understatement! To hear the whole story, follow Jennifer's blog Five Steps For Us on Facebook and Instagram (@fivestepsforus).
As time went on, Jennifer and Nick shared the news with their friends and family. Everyone has been so supportive and excited! In the beginning, Jennifer was able to find doctors here on the East Coast and they had a plan. Then, Covid-19 happened. Not only are Jennifer and Nick expecting 5 babies, but we are in the middle of a world-wide pandemic. Tension and stress was high, but Jennifer and Nick stayed focused on their babies and preparing for their arrival.
Sadly, in March of 2020, Jennifer delivered one of her babies at home unexpectedly and she was rushed to the hospital. The little boy was not able to survive and Jennifer and Nick were devastated. Even though they were struggling with this loss, they needed to make sure the other four babies had a fighting chance to survive. With little to no support from her doctors here on the East Coast, Jennifer researched and found Dr. John Elliot with the Elliot Center for Multiples in Arizona (Banner University Hospital). This doctor is a specialist and spent the time talking to Jennifer and Nick and he was willing to take on their case. They flew to Arizona (still in the middle of a pandemic) and met the doctor and his team. After getting a surgical procedure to protect the remaining babies, Jennifer and Nick now have a new plan. A plan that will allow their precious babies to have the best chance for survival.
After their trip to Arizona, Jennifer and Nick were able to come home and prepare. They spent time at home until Jennifer reached 23 weeks and was able to fly back to Arizona for the remainder of her pregnancy. During that time at home, they had a gender reveal and found out they are having 3 little girls and one baby boy.
At 23 weeks, Jennifer and Nick flew back to Arizona. Jennifer was admitted to the hospital and Nick had to fly home. Due to Covid-19, Nick was unable to stay or see Jennifer until she went into labor. During the past few weeks at the hospital, Jennifer has struggled with pre-term labor, contractions, a ruptured sac and more. Jennifer is on complete bed rest, and she and the babies are continually monitored. After a scare when one of the baby's sac ruptured, Nick was able to fly out to be with Jennifer. No one knew if the babies were going to be born with in a few days or not. Happily, they have been able to overcome the many obstacles and as of 6/14/2020, they have reached 27 weeks and have 4 babies still cooking!
So, even in the best case scenario, once the babies are born they will spend a significant amount of time in NICU. Jennifer and Nick will spend months in Arizona caring for their babies. When the time is right, they will need to get home. The costs to transport four premature babies across the country is astronomical. Besides that, there are additional medical costs and just the cost of having four babies!!!
Please consider donating to the Stepenosky family and help them by taking some of the financial burden away. Anyone that knows Jennifer and Nick know that they would do the same for someone else. If you are unable to help, please share and spread the word. Prayers are always accepted! Also, follow their Facebook Blog at Five Steps For Us (Instagram @fivestepsforus) to read more of their story and to get updates. Thank you for your time and please consider helping.
- Elizabeth Saunders
- Tara Myerson
- Donna Dixon Shipman