I was really excited to connect with Rebecca Ishum through Blogger Link Up. The power of technology and social media is amazing. I simply put out an inquiry looking for “Real Moms” to feature on the blog, and Rebecca was one of them who reached back out to me. She is the funny and proud Kansas City mama of quadruplets behind A Beautiful Ruckus. I was convinced that I had my hands full with three little ones…until I spoke with a mother of quads.
In this adorable picture above, you see Elijah, Rebecca (Mommy), Abigail, Caleb, Sean (Daddy), and Elizabeth. Just beautiful!
C: What was the first thought that came to your head when you were told that you were pregnant with not one, or two, but four babies?
REBECCA: It was very surprising, which is probably an understatement. I remember the ultrasonographer saying, ‘I see two or three babies’ and I thought, TWO OR THREE BABIES?! I just immediately started shaking (as that’s what I do when my adrenaline kicks in). Then she moved the fetal doppler around some more and says that she definitely saw three, and then a fourth sac but couldn’t tell if there was a heartbeat in it. All I could think was ‘Are you serious?!’ At that point I just started crying. Most women know that [carrying multiples] is a very high risk pregnancy. I looked over at my husband and he had the biggest smile on his face ever. It hadn’t hit him yet that it was going to be a matter of life and death for all five of us. He was oblivious which was okay at the time because he had to drive all of us home. (*Laughter*)
C: How did you and your husband even begin to wrap your head around the fact that you were instantly going from a family of two, to a family of six?
REBECCA: It took my husband probably three to four weeks for reality to set in for him. We had a friend who is a baby nurse and she was explaining some of the things that I would be going through and that the children would be going through once they were born. It was at that point that he realized it was going to be a scary ordeal. I was in denial for a while and I remember a co-worker walking into my office and making a statement that I was acting like I wasn’t even pregnant with quads. And all I could say is, ‘You know, I just can’t even think about it right now otherwise I’ll just break down in tears because I’m so scared.’ I worked through a period of intense anger with God because we had been infertile and then all of a sudden we were given four and I just thought it was very unfair. So I worked through a lot of the anger and came to realize this was God’s plan for our lives and I got ok with it. I then quit my job and was home for a month before I was hospitalized. When I went home, that first week after quitting my job, it was awful because it was just staring me in my face that I was really pregnant with quadruplets. There were different stages and different cycles to it that I had to come to terms with it.
C: At what point did you decide to become a SAHM? Was it always in the plan when you discussed starting a family?
REBECCA: I did insurance before I had kids, so I wrote and sold policies which was a desk job and it was really good considering the situation. I was hoping to be able to go back to work to help the family out at least part-time. But I had ultimately always wanted to be a SAHM. When we found out we were pregnant with quads, daycare would’ve been three times my salary, so the decision was pretty much made for us. I always wanted to be a SAHM but at the same time, we really didn’t have a choice.
***Newborn Quads From L to R: Caleb, Elijah, Elizabeth, and Abigail: Photography by Abundant Moments***
C: When do you have time to write and keep up with a blog?
REBECCA: I write the majority of my posts after 8pm at night after my kids go down to bed. And then I do some of the backend work (which you know, as a blogger, there is a lot of backend work) in the afternoons while they are asleep. So I kind of just fit it in where I can. I didn’t want to lose myself completely when the quads came along. My degree is in English writing so it’s always been the direction in which I’ve been wired in. This was a combination of documenting our lives for our kids, and at the same time staying sane myself. I also needed an outlet so this serves as a journalist type for other multiples moms.
C: Do you find that caring for quads is getting easier as they are now in the toddler stage, or is it just a different type of chaos?
REBECCA: It’s just a different type of exhaustion. When they first came home there wasn’t very much sleep – sleep came in two, two-and-a-half hour segments at most. So that was sheer exhaustion and I did stuff out of routine to get through the days. I can’t tell you what the first three months of them being home was like. I go back and read stuff from my blog that I don’t even remember. Now that they’re toddlers, I do sleep through the night most of the time. But the level of energy that is required to keep up with them is just draining. So I would say that the exhaustion is probably almost the same. It’s a lot more fun now because it’s a little more rewarding. It’s just a different type of chaos and exhaustion than when they first came home.
C: Did you have any type of support and help when you and your husband first brought them home?
REBECCA: Yes, we had a ton of help when they first came home! We had people volunteer for shifts around the clock. We had people from our church coming and staying overnight to help me get up and feed them every four hours. So I slept on an air mattress on the living room floor, they slept on the couch, and my husband slept in the bedroom so that he could get up and go to work in the morning. After three months we were able to cut a lot of the help we had. We also had people bring us meals for the first six weeks, which during that time, I just don’t know what we would’ve done if we had to do it by ourselves. And there are quad parents who choose to do it by themselves, and kudos to them. I’m not sure how they manage, but they do!