Pediatric Resident Gives Birth to Healthy Quads
Jodi Puent with her quadruplets
When Jodi Puent found out in the spring of 2007 that she was going to have quadruplets, she knew she had at least 30-32 hurdles to clear, in the form of gestation weeks and holding off preterm labor.
"From my perspective and training, I know what it's like to take care of a 25-week-old baby versus a 30-week-old baby," says Jodi.
Jodi, you see, was finishing her pediatric residency at Meriter Hospital when she and husband Brian found out their effort to conceive with the aid of a fertility drug was more successful than they could imagine.
"When you find out you're having quads, your own life plans change considerably," Jodi says.
She and Brian readjusted their plans at that point, which was to include a move to the Wausau area where Jodi was to begin her career as a full-time pediatrician.
"My goal was to get as far as I could, and accept the help and goodwill of so many people to make sure I could go to 32 weeks before they would be born."
Jodi's residency put her in a unique situation—being able to go through a pregnancy with multiples having a personal connection with most of the staff at Meriter's Center for Perinatal Care and the UW Health Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists who oversaw her care.
She appreciated the open and encouraging dialogue that perinatologists Kathy Stewart, MD
, Dinesh Shah, MD
and Mary Carroll, MD maintained with her, and the way they encouraged her to trust her body to tell her when she needed to slow down. That included a self-imposed bed rest stint at 12-13 weeks, then strict bed rest the 12 weeks leading up to her delivery.
"The Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists trusted me, and I trusted them…you need to have that reassurance from your care providers."
She received one 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone injection each week to decrease her pre-term labor risk, and looks back on her trips to the Perinatal Center as "my social outings."
Six weeks later, her doctors decided the time was right for hospitalization, and planned a Caesarean section for two weeks later.
"It was just safer to keep me in the hospital at that point," Jodi says. However, lab tests indicated that Jodi was developing clinical criteria for pre-eclampsia. That, plus the fact that she could barely talk because the babies were pushing against her diaphragm, led to a decision to push up delivery day to October 23rd, just three days shy of her 32-week goal.
"It made me feel good that the physicians stayed in touch with other MD's who also had experience delivering quads and that they took the time to have care conferences so that all four of them were on the same page. They wanted to make sure they were totally prepared with how this would proceed," says Jodi.
Her four babies—sons Damien (4 lbs.), Griffin (3 lbs., 10 ounces) and Everett (3.6), and daughter Addison (3.7)—were in good hands, as 26 doctors and nurses were present in the delivery room when they were delivered within two minutes of each other on October 23, 2007.
Everett and Addison needed to be on oxygen overnight, but otherwise their stay in the Meriter Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was "uneventful." The six-member Puent family cleared the final hurdle together on November 19th, when Jodi and Brian were able to go home with four thriving infants after 27 days of receiving special care.
"I really feel we worked well as a team—the doctors, the nursing staff on 6 North at Meriter Hospital, the people in the NICU…When you have an outcome that includes four healthy babies, that's huge. It was really nice to be able to share this experience with people who had treated you so well."