New Piedmont residents Jessie and Joel Lekites are now the proud parents of quadruplets. Lekites gave birth to three girls and one boy in April at Mercy Hospital.
But, due to some complications and health issues, the babies weren’t cleared to leave the hospital until just recently.
The babies were born one minute apart from each other. The new Lekites are June, Jaclyn, Jamison and Joseph. Joseph had a shunt in his head to release fluid built up around the brain and some of the other babies had some oxygen issues. The Lekites’ babies were spread out in different hospitals, from OU Medical Center to Mercy. From the time Lekites was admitted to the hospital in March, it was 142 days before all the babies were home.
The babies were born at exactly 27 weeks. The girls all weighed around 1 pound each–Jamison weighed 1 pound, 10 ounces; June weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces; Jaclyn weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces; Joseph weighed 2 pounds, 4 ounces.
The odds of having three girls and one boy in a quadruplet birth are very small, according to the specialist Lekites saw during her pregnancy. He told her that with the treatment she was on, there was only about a 2 to 3 percent chance they would end up with quadruplets.
Because the babies were born three months early, they had to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, on ventilators for some time.
“That in itself was unbelievable,” Jessie said. “You don’t realize the world of NIC U … and I’m a nurse, but I don’t do pediatrics or any of that. It’s hard because you don’t get to take your babies home.”
The babies were in the intensive care unit for 62 days. Joseph and Jaclyn were released from the hospital in June. June was released in July and Jaclyn just came home a few weeks ago.
The Lekites were married in 2011. Since they were married, they had tried to have children but it wasn’t going well for them. Eventually, Jessie began a hormone medication schedule to increase her chances of conception.
The week of Thanksgiving, 2013, the couple announced to their family members they were going to have triplets; they didn’t expect to have quadruplets because the ultrasound only revealed three heartbeats.
They were living in Houston at the time they got pregnant. Houston is where Joel worked as a home designer. Then they flew back to Oklahoma in February.
After they found out they were for sure going to have quadruplets, they formulated a plan to reveal their big secret to their families.
They got various members of both of their families together, including their grandparents, to announce the surprise. The family members were already under the assumption the couple were going to have babies and thought they were having triplets. They had purchased “scratch off” cards from Etsy–a company that sells art supplies and various knickknacks. The cards they chose read, “Prince or Princess, scratch the carriage to see.” These types of cards are similar to lotto scratch off cards.
“All four parents scratched them and they revealed, girl, girl, girl, then his dad on the end yelled, ‘I got a boy!,’” Lekites said. “They were overwhelmed with total chaotic excitement.”
Lekites did not choose to do In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) for her pregnancy, instead it was the hormone medication and Intrauterine Insemination they went with, and according to Lekites, there was only a 2 to 3 percent chance that method would be effective.
“When we went back to our next ultrasound, the ultrasound tech said, ‘Here’s all your heartbeats–Heartbeat A, Heartbeat B, Heartbeat C and Heartbeat D, and I said Heartbeat, who?”
Joel said their initial reaction to finding out they were for sure going to have four babies was the realization that neither he nor his wife wanted to buy a minivan.
“The first thing I said to Joel was, ‘They don’t make cute cars that big,” Jessie said.
They said they were nervous at first, mostly because they knew they were going to have to take care of four babies instead of one.
Joel has a close friend who has twins. His friend advised him that two babies is difficult enough, but four is a whole other situation. None of Jessie or Joel’s friends have ever had quadruplets, so the advice they have offered doesn’t quite match the situation they are in now–taking care of four newborns.
“It’s difficult when there’s four babies crying at midnight and somebody has always got something going on,” Joel said. “But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”
The Lekites have temporarily moved into Jessie’s parents’ home here in Piedmont, but plan to find a home here very soon.
Joel’s mom, Donna Lekites, stays at Jessie’s parents’ home with them while her parents are at work during the days.
Joel is originally from Boston, Mass., and Jessie is originally from Manchester, N.H. They met through a mutual friend. Their first date was St. Patrick’s Day.