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CBN.com When Steve and Stephanie Powell learned they were pregnant in 2001, they had no idea it was with quintuplets.
“When they told us that we were going to have five children, I just think I went into complete shock,” remembers Steve Powell.
Due to the health risks of carrying that many babies, doctors immediately encouraged the Powell’s to reduce the number of children from five to three. Steve worried about Stephanie’s health and struggled with the decisions that followed.
“I was very scared, and I was also afraid that we were going to have five children with severe disabilities and just that alone had me scared to death,” says Steve.
“I would like to say that we were just confident in the Holy Spirit the whole time, that we were not going to reduce, and even though I’d always prayed that when the doctors tell you that’s what you need to do, you listen to them,” remembers Stephanie Powell of her pregnancy.
But the Powell’s wanted all the babies, so preparation for a family of seven began.
“We just cleaned everything out, and we were garage sailing fools. We spent every Saturday for a good month I guess and just stocked up and we just planned on boys and girls for many years because we knew we wouldn’t be getting out shopping and we did,” says Stephanie. “We bought everything … shoes, onesies, and cute dresses for when they were older.”
Thirteen weeks into the pregnancy, Stephanie went on bed rest. Her doctor wanted her to carry the babies at least 30 weeks.
“Steve took care of me until 22 weeks and then that’s when we went back into the hospital. We knew that time it was for good. I didn’t even want to be home, it was so scary to even be home by myself at that point. I was huge, and I couldn’t do anything for myself, so I was really happy to be in the hospital,” says Stephanie.
On Oct. 28, 2001, five Powell babies were delivered by c-section.
According to Stephanie, “Delivery was right at 1:00 and Jacob was 2.5, Jackson was next, 2.4 … Chloe was next, 2.7 … Samuel was next, 2.12 … and Ella was last and, she was 2.9.”
Everyone but Jacob went on a ventilator and all five stayed in the hospital until they reached a healthy weight. However, Steve and Stephanie’s goal was to have the babies home by Christmas.
“I was ready to take us all home although that’s not exactly how it all happened. That’s what I was ready for,” says Steve.
Mom, dad and all five babies did make it home in time for Christmas together that first year.
“It was very nice to have everybody home. It put Christmas in perspective for sure, it wasn’t about gifts, it wasn’t about any of that. We had family over at our house all day long, and they brought food, and we just sat around all day taking turn feeding babies. It was very simple, it wasn’t a typical Christmas at all for what most people. I think in America, it was probably extra special because we got back to the basics,” says Stephanie.
Today, Stephanie home schools the five kindergardeners.
“We do memory verses and we do flashcards,” says Jackson.
“I practice the sounds,” says Chloe.
Jacob likes science. “I like this part, friction.”
“I like after school. We get some snacks, sometimes we have fruit snacks,” says Samuel.
Everyone loves to read before bed, but no matter the activity, the Powell’s are inseparable…
Mom says, “They’re very tight. Yeah, sometimes I think they’re just a little too tight. It’s almost like we have our own little preschool here, that’s the way it is 24 hours a day.”
Over the last six years, the quints have learned more and more about the real reason for Christmas…
“We get to celebrate Jesus’ birthday,” says Jackson. “We get an ice cream cake, just because we love ice cream cake. We usually do it on Christmas Eve, and we sing to him. “We try to get the kids thinking about what the whole Christmas is about that’s for sure.”
The Powell’s help others celebrate Christmas as well.
“We want to help people that are less fortunate so we try to give to different groups at Christmas, and its all about that God loved us enough to send His Son, and we want them to understand that more than anything,” says Stephanie.
“We give presents. We put stuff in a bag, but we didn’t wrap it before, and we sent it to orphans in the Ukraine. We sent them a brown football and basketball and all other stuff to play sports with,” says Jacob.
“We just want these children to know the love of the Lord. Success doesn’t matter and really health doesn’t matter that much, so we just always try to live our life that absolutely walking in His will for us and honoring Him with things we do and trying to be a light in this world that we’re trying to make him happy in everything we do. And I absolutely believe He’s blessed us for all of that,” says Stephanie.
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