Long Island Couple Has Four More Reasons To Be Thankful This Thanksgiving
Stony Brook University Alum and wife bring their quadruplets home from the NICU just in time for the holidays
STONY BROOK, NY, November 27, 2013 -- Linda and Chris Astefanous of Centereach, NY have always dreamed of a big family and this Halloween their wishes came true and four little ‘pumpkins’ were added to their ‘patch’. Quadruplets Brandon, Natalie Ann, Abigail and Charlotte were born October 31 at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.
Chris, a 30 year-old Mechanical Engineer, who obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stony Brook University married Linda, an Art education alumni of C.W. Post, in July of 2007 in Medford, NY. The young couple decided right away that they wanted to build a family. Gavin was born in October of 2011, but expanding their family and giving Gavin siblings wasn’t as easy. Linda decided to have a procedure called Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) to help her get pregnant again.
During this procedure, sperm is directly inserted into the uterus. This prevents any complications the sperm may have in reaching the uterus. Not to be confused with In Vitro Fertilization or IVF, IUI helped the Astefanous’ ensure fertilization for what looked like a normal ovulation cycle of two mature follicles. However, in Linda’s case not only were two eggs released but four.
The couple learned they were pregnant with quadruplets around the beginning of April, and were shocked. “I almost fell off the table,” remarked Linda. “It definitely floored us when we found out we were having four,” said Chris. “It's amazing that all four took when typically only one in three eggs lead to viable fetuses.”
Linda was immediately put into the care of Dr. James Bernasko, Division Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Stony Brook Medicine. Aside from a mild case of gestational diabetes, the pregnancy went exceptionally well.
“Linda had a great pregnancy. She did better than 80% of women who are pregnant with multiples. She carried the babies longer resulting in them being born at a normal weight for quadruplets,” said Bernasko.
Linda was admitted to the hospital at 29 weeks of pregnancy for observation. Though it was rough on the family to be apart, 3-year-old Gavin was excited to visit his mom at the hospital with hopes that he might have run-ins with Stony Brook University Mascot ‘Wolfie’. As a Seawolf fan, Gavin hopes his new siblings share his love of SBU Football like he does.
At 33 weeks and 2 days of gestation, Linda went into labor – two days before her scheduled Caesarean section – and four beautiful babies, just over 4-pounds each, were born within 3 minutes. “I heard one baby cry, then another, then another and finally one more; it was amazing,” said Linda about the experience.
According to the 2011 Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Vital Statics report triplet-plus births were the lowest reported since 1995, which includes 5,137 triplets, 239 quadruplets, and 41 quintuplets and higher-order multiples. Giving birth to quadruplets is much rarer than having twins or triplets. In the same report, of the 3,953,590 babies born that year, 131,269 were twins.
After 3 weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Stony Brook Children’s, the quadruplets were discharged on November 20, just in time to meet their entire extended family for Thanksgiving.
“The babies’ health and Linda's health being so well are huge blessings. In quadruplet pregnancies, only very few go as well as this one did,” said Chris, “This Thanksgiving, more than others, we have so much to be thankful for in the present. More than ever, this holiday season, we’re going to have that joy of looking forward to all the things to come.”
About Stony Brook Children’s Hospital:
Established in June 2010, Stony Brook Children's Hospital is Suffolk County’s only children’s hospital. More than 7,000 children and adolescents are admitted each year. Stony Brook Children’s operates 100 pediatric beds and has more than 140 full-time pediatric physicians and surgeons in 30 different specialties and over 200 voluntary pediatric faculty members. The hospital is the Level 4 Regional Perinatal Center for our area and has a Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It is home to the nation’s first Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center and also offers a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program, Pediatric Cardiology Program, Pediatric HIV and AIDS Center, Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Cody Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities. To learn more, visit www.stonybrookchildrens.org.