My wife and I are friends with a couple from Watertown, CT, Ginny and Charlie Baudinet. They have five adult children, four boys and one girl. Just over a year ago, Ginny and Charlie became grandparents of four girls and one boy. All on the same day!
You may have seen the story in the news. The Baudinet quintuplets were born on December 4, 2016. The four girls and one boy came into this world within a span of five minutes. Wow.
Now, just past their first birthday, Ava, Clara, Millie, Isabelle, and Luke are doing quite well. Their parents, Margaret and Michael Baudinet, are also doing well, as long as you include occasional sleep deprivation in your definition of “doing well.” The family resides in Virginia.
One of the most inspiring aspects of this story is the reaction of Margaret and Michael when they first found out she was pregnant with five babies. Medical professionals strongly urged them to “selectively reduce,” which is the technical term for killing at least two or three of the babies through abortion. Margaret reflects on what is was like to be pressured to selectively reduce: “As you can imagine, this is terrifying to hear, especially after you’ve heard that if you don’t reduce, your kids may have severe disabilities if they are lucky enough to even survive.”
Thankfully, Margaret and Michael turned this decision over to the Lord, figuring the Author of Life is the only one who has the right to end life. They found a wonderful physician who specializes in “multiples,” Dr. John Elliot in Phoenix, and now they are the parents of five beautiful, healthy babies.
Margaret set up a blog site, where she shares the joys and struggles of being the mother of quintuplets. It’s called “A Bundle of Baudinets,” and can be found at baudinetquints.blogspot.com.
In one post, Margaret explains that when she first became pregnant, the doctors ordered her to eat lots of French fries and ice cream. (How come doctors never order me to do that?)
With five babies, at a certain point in the pregnancy, the mother’s stomach gets so squished, it become difficult to ingest much food to keep up her strength. So, the mother tries to gain significant weight early on, and kind of like a bear in hibernation, live off of that in the final stages of the pregnancy.
In my mind, being ordered by doctors to eat at least 4,000 calories each day sounds great. But not so, according to Margaret, who wrote, “[My husband] Michael prepared all kinds of high calorie meals for me. And then there was the ice cream. I ate so. Much. Ice cream. I know, I know. It sounds delightful. But it wasn’t. I was nauseous every day and especially every night. Imagine having the stomach flu. You’re huddled on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket and some chicken broth, hoping you can fall asleep in order to escape the churning in your stomach. Then, your spouse walks up to you with a bucket of ice cream and says, ‘You’re still about 1,000 calories short. Dig in.’ You honestly want to crawl in a hole.”
Coming home from the hospital with a brand new baby is quite a challenge. Coming home with five brand new babies is mind boggling. Margaret and Michael have been getting a tremendous amount of assistance from family members and friends. For example, our friends Ginny and Charlie, the proud paternal grandparents, have been wearing out a path between Watertown, CT, and Virginia.
A bundle of Baudinets is a heart-warming story. We wish them all the best, and hope Margaret and Michael can get a full night’s sleep — one of these years.