Mom Kendall says that thanks to the help of her “village” of helpers, she’s getting by. So it was only logical that the town had the opportunity to celebrate.
It’s hard to believe that just 12 months ago, four little Timaru came into the world three months premature, each weighing just two pounds and relying on machines to help them survive the first fragile weeks of their young lives.
But as the MacDonald quads celebrate their first birthday with a fun emoji-themed party and 100 friends and family, Hudson, Indie, Quinn and Molly are making up for lost time, hitting baby milestones, and getting cuter every day.
It’s a special moment for Timaru’s young parents, Kendall and Josh MacDonald, as they look back on the year their lives were forever changed with the addition of four little ones after emergency surgery at just 28 weeks pregnant on August 15. past.
“Yes, whirlwind is exactly the word to describe the last 12 months,” agrees Kendall, 28, who is also a Brooklyn mother of four. “I’m more tired now than when they were newborns and they first came home!”
And while family life with four babies is not without its challenges of sleepless nights and illness, including a mercy run to Christchurch Hospital more than 100 miles away last November when her youngest daughter fell seriously ill, the mother of five says thanks for the help. Out of the “village” of helpers to her, she manages to stick together.
“This may sound crazy, but while it’s very, very challenging, it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. Some days are better than others, and it could get worse once they start walking and talking, but for the most part, they’re not. it’s been too hard and a lot of it has to do with all the help we get.
“Before they came home from the hospital, I would lie awake dreading how hard the nights would be, but we’ve been very lucky with our nanny.”
And it’s because of this generosity from all over New Zealand that a small family reunion turned into a full-scale party in a nearby hall, complete with an entertainer and face paint for 30 children, and food decorated with the colorful animal, insect and emojis. of flowers that Kendall uses in her popular
“I started it to make a difference in posts when she was naming her weight, and it just stuck,” the doting mom explains. “Quinn is a pink flower, Indie is a butterfly, Hudson is a fox and Molly is a sunflower, so their cakes, decorations and cookies for the party will be made with them, and we’ll have that theme throughout.
“At first, we were going to have a small party with the immediate family, but then we realized that there were so many people who had gotten involved to help us with childcare and give us gifts, and the more people we thought of, the more I had to invite, so it turned into one big party,” he laughs. “There’s going to be a lot of adults there. It’s probably going to be more about us than them.”
With two of the four little ones now crawling, and all teething and wolfing down solid food, life in the MacDonald household is beginning to seriously shift gears.
Kendall says, “Molly’s crawling, you can’t stop her, she’s so fast and she goes from one side of the house to the other in seconds. And Quinn started crawling today. We blocked off parts of the living room and kitchen.
“Everyone is sitting now and just wants food. Hudson really eats clean and is very picky, while the girls are very messy. Molly just wants that food. She’ll even try to rip the plate out of your hands!”
When the rosy-cheeked cherubs are carried into the living room on her father’s hip, looking refreshed after a midday nap, their little faces break into big gummy smiles when they see their mother. After a quick hug, it’s time to play with vigorous rattles and squeals of joy as the floor litters with toys.
Kendall, who admits that telling her identical daughters Indie and Quinn apart is still tricky, especially when they’re dressed alike, says the sisters love each other’s company and are inseparable.
“At night, Indie and Quinn love to push their cots together. They sit there and smile and babble to each other, and sometimes they won’t fall asleep. It drives me crazy because they’re so happy talking to each other.
“Molly and Quinn also really enjoy each other’s company, sitting in their walkers and jumping around each other, while Hudson likes to be alone. I’m sure Indie would like to join in, but she’s not in the same mood.” . at the level of her sisters. But there will come a time. She is getting on her knees. It’s just that Molly and Quinn can move around and get to where they want to go.”
As the kids pack on the pounds (identical sisters Indie and Quinn have passed 25 pounds and are out of size ones), Josh and Kendall hope they’ve overcome an illness that has dogged the kids for weeks.
“Even before winter hit, there were about eight weeks where the babies were sick non-stop,” shares Kendall. “They had a cold and then someone had a hand, foot and mouth, then someone had another cold. There was one thing after another in those eight weeks. It got very, very difficult and we struggled.”
Kendall recalls a two-week nightmare when Quinn and Indie fell ill within a week of each other with suspected meningitis.
“Suddenly Quinn was really sick and she wasn’t responding to anything,” she says. “She had a high temperature, so we took her to the GP and they sent her to the hospital. She hadn’t even checked if she had developed a rash.”
“Quinn had initial tests that weren’t clear, but then they gave her a few hours and some medication, and she started to get better. Then a week later, Indie had the exact same thing.”
It was the second serious health scare that year after newborn Molly’s lung suddenly collapsed last November and she came perilously close to death.
“We’re sharing your magical day with those who have been there for us,” says proud mom Kendall. Photo: Cassandra English/Hazel&Cass photography
“It was a week after they were discharged from the hospital and the same week our first Women’s Day article came out,” says the exhausted mother. “Molly went downhill in a couple of hours and she couldn’t breathe on her own. She had tubes put into her lung to reinflate it.
“They couldn’t sedate her because she couldn’t breathe,” says Kendall, adding that it was by far the worst moment of the past year. “It makes me sick just thinking about it.
“Molly was airlifted to Christchurch and those first two days were bad. Then her heart started pounding and she stopped breathing. She was scary.”
“At one point, we were going to go to Starship in Auckland, but they thought she probably wouldn’t survive the trip.
“We were very lucky at that point. All we had to do was call Josh’s mom, Vicki, and say, ‘This is not good,’ and we had help and she took control of the rest of the family.”
The earlier success of getting the little ones to sleep through the night faded with illness and endless teething. Now Kendall and Josh are looking forward to the warmer months of summer and the chance to get out with their brood.
“It’s really hard to take them anywhere with us,” Josh explains. “Getting them all in their car seats, buckled in, that’s a big mission. We can’t get out without getting pulled over every couple of minutes, and because of that, we really don’t do that much.”
“When summer comes around, it will be a lot easier. We’ll definitely be doing a few more trips.”
Adds Kendall, “Plus, we’ve been focused on getting to one year. I haven’t even thought about plans for next year.”
“Yeah,” Josh agrees. “It’s one day at a time.”