Tuesday, August 26, 2008


We have been home a week and things have been CRAZY! Luke got out of the hospital on a Thursday; Briellen and Ivy got out of the hospital on a Saturday and we were back in Houston on Tuesday. Briellen and Ivy's get out of jail cards came in the form of at-home apnea monitors. They've given us major peace of mind and we've had no true alarms nor any false alarms since we've been home! Two months of no alarms and they'll be off of them.

The plane ride home was an experience. The babies didn't cry (whew!) and the people on the plane were kind; one passenger even wrote us a sweet poem! Getting checked in and through security was a titch stressful, but with six adults we made it relatively pain free (my mom, Stephen's mom, Margaret, and Damon helped me & Stephen). They joked that they should have slipped me a Valium and I completely disagreed until I realized I didn't take a single picture!!

I have spent the past week in survival mode, with little sleep; exactly what the coming weeks will bring, I'm sure! Thank goodness for all the people that come and help me. Feeding times are a frenzy -- I compare the babies to pirhanas with blood in the water.

I've been trying to establish a routine, because I realized the babies had gone a week without a bath -- poor things!!!! (I guess because I hadn't bathed in a week either!) My new perfume is eau de Neosure (super stinky formula!); not one I recommend for my girlfriends!! I have had a couple of meltdowns, but overall, am so happy with my babies and being home.

Luke, Sidney, Briellen, Mitchell, Ivy
Luke Coming Home
Briellen Coming Home
Ivy Coming Home Again


  1. Wow! Welcome home. Remembering that feeling makes me want to cry tears of joy right now. Your babies are beautiful and I'm glad you have the apnea monitors to give you peace of mind. We purchased AngelCare monitors for the Cupcakes cribs so we could sleep better knowing that the alarm would sound after 20 seconds of no movement. Those false alarms are the pitts and really hard to fall back asleep afterward so I hope you don't get any. Get some rest when you can and good luck.


  2. Congratulations and welcome back to TEXAS!!!!


  3. Welcome home Ellen, Stephen and all five wonderful miracle babies! I saw a special on another Mom of quints on I think TLC and they were born at the same place yours were, with Dr. Elliot presiding! I wish you all a wonderful time with your big new family!

    Colleen Stadnick
    a KMTA friend of your Mom, Gwladys

  4. I'm so happy for you! Like Jac, I could cry remember that feeling of getting them all home! And I remember the neosure smell well. We had one on monitors too,
    I'm so happy you are home!
    The pictures look wonderful!

  5. welcome home, sweet howell family! this is such good news, i am smiling as i write this. God is good. :)

  6. It is good to hear that you are back in Texas. Routines are good and even for you. You need that time to take a shower. When i was home with the triplets I enjoyed shower time more than any other time. Feeding was great at our house because we used Hands-Free bottles. You can get them at Babies R Us. I did not feel like i was feeding babies all day long. Stress and meltdowns just keep you grounded and for you to know that you cannot do any of this without God and family/friends.

  7. Wow...welcome back to Houston!!
    The pics are ADORABLE!! I cant belive all 5 are home! How wonderful!
    I'll be praying for you all!
    Looking forward to seeing you guys arounf town sometime! I'm sure I couldnt miss you guys!! ;)

  8. What GREAT things the Lord has done! It is just amazing! I am know you are glad to be back home.....and the babies are adorable!

  9. I miss those little ones each day I am not there! They are such little miracles and I love them each already!

  10. Congratulations. And, don't feel bad if you have melt downs. Whether you have 1 or 5 or 10, all new moms have their moments.

    You may find once the stickiness starts to go on the leads for the apnea monitor you'll start to get more false alarms. Also, I had a great person tell me once my son reached about 10 pounds to ask for a belt instead of the leads because he moved around so much in the crib the belt worked better than the leads.

    I am so glad to hear you have help and don't stress if things don't always go according to how you planned it. You'll quickly find that the babies are in charge and they will tell you what they need.

    Hugs to all of you!


  11. Oh Ellen, I just love those photos. Is Ivy trying to kiss her sibling?

    Precious, just precious. The part about the poem made me cry. I can't wait to try to come over and help but we have been sick a lot around here and so I want to make sure I don't carry any germs!!!

  12. Yah! It is great news to hear that you are back in Houston all safe and sound! The photos of all the babies are adorable. I am sure you will quickly establish a routine (for survival sake) now that you are home. It's got to be hard to get grounded again after moving around over the past few months.

    Congratulations again! And please, please let me know if I can help you guys out in any way. I make a mean lasagne if that will help take some of the load off.


  13. Congrats on making it home! I wish I lived a little closer - I'd come help you! Dallas is just a little too far of a commute.

    I am sure the next weeks will be stressful but try and get some rest and enjoy having them home.

    Best wishes from the big D.

  14. Thanks for the update, Ellen!

    We shall keep the nice and big Howell family in our prayers! (Especially, you...who is pretty much the most amazing person I know right now. You are so strong!)

  15. I hope you don't mind, but I just posted about the quints on my own blog.....go see @ www.southernlivingatitsbest.blogspot.com


  16. congrats on finally being home! i am like jac and misty, getting all emotional reading through your posts on the delivery, the nicu stay and then coming home. i, too, delivered at good sam here in phx (we're local here). excellent hospital and excellent nicu!

    hope the transition home goes well and that you continue to do well post partum. our GGGG are almost 6 months old (next week) and i can't believe how much they've changed and grown in that short amount of time. you, too, will look back at the birth and nicu pictures and think "wow! they were so tiny but look at them now! amazing!"

    praising god on how well he has (and is) taking care of you and your family!

    -quad mom of GGGG and a 4yo boy

  17. We are so happy for the seven of you!

    I know that being home is a blessing, but sometimes, just for a few moments, I miss the NICU and that extra set of 24 hour hands.

    I sure miss our daily chats.

    Ben is 9 pounds now and doing well.

    Jess Pool

  18. Girl, i can completely relate. I know its hard those first few weeks. And breakdowns and meltdowns happen, youw ould be crazy not to have them (shoot i still have them and my quads are 7 months old)
    The babies are so beautiful and you are doing so great!!! Feel free to email with any scheduling advice, i got all mine from fellow high order multiples moms and it saved my life, seriously :) Oh, and getting a night nanny at least one day a week, that was huge!!

  19. Oh yeah and as for your neosure perfume, just think soon you will graduate to bigger and better things, i am currently wearing "Similac Sensitive RS Regurgitated" Its truly intoxicating (YUCK)!

  20. Oh my goodness... you have FIVE babies. oh my goodness... I too have five babies, triplets and twins 13 months apart, and it's been an unbelievable roolercoaster ride over the past 3 years.
    My boys are now 3 years old, and my girls are now 2... I've made it through the baby stage and we're now entering into toddlerhood. I don't know which was scarier!! :) I'd love to talk with you more, and if you ever need anything, or just someone to talk to...please dont hesitate to email me.

  21. so happy to read that they're all home with you. they're going to thrive so much under your care. also glad to hear that you have help. one preemie baby is nutty, as I know from friends... two's insane (as I know personally!)...so I can only imagine how awesomely crazy it is in your house right now. But am so happy for you. your babies are precious!

  22. Hey Steve and Elle,
    We loved being with ya'll and 5 of our precious grandchildren!What a joy they all are, so unique in their differences!We missed ya'll as soon as we left. Take care and God bless, til we see you again!
    MaMa Jude ,PaPa Steve