A set of quads, born to a surrogate, currently reside at Sutter Memorial Hospital in east Sacramento, but their parents live in Georgia.
As the babies grow bigger and stronger their parents worry about how they are going to get the bunch home.
After trying to conceive for the last 11 years, The Kalumes found a surrogate mother in Sacramento who was implanted with 2 fertilized eggs. One of those eggs split into triplets giving the family 4 babies.
The quads were born at 29 weeks each weighing between 1 lb 4 ozs and 2lbs. Named Abraham, Jeremiah, Kristianna and Azariah, the babies are doing well with just one (Azariah) needing to be in the incubator still. All babies still need assistance with their breathing, requiring oxygen full time.
The Kalumes have been experiencing a run of bad luck over the last few years starting with their three year search for a surrogate. After learning that the surrogate was pregnant, it was revealed there were four heartbeats instead of one.
The babies were diagnosed in the womb with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a dangerous condition in which they shared a placenta.
Deborah Kalume said she moved to Sacramento in January to help the surrogate mother, who is married and has four children. During that time, the Kalumes’ home in Georgia was hit by a tornado.
The family has been living in a trailer behind the hospital since the babies’ birth, trying to figure out how to transport the babies back home.
Finding a commercial plane that will carry the babies in their incubators is difficult and costly, doctors said. A cross-country car ride is unthinkable. Caring for the babies in the small trailer is unimaginable.
The Kalumes’ best hope is to scrape up enough money for a private jet, which they say won’t be easy on their incomes.
“I could possibly be living in a trailer with three babies and one in the hospital,” Deborah Kalume said Sunday as she sat with her husband in the tight quarters surrounded by knitted booties, little T-shirts and other baby clothes. “I mean, they say it can sleep eight, but I don’t want to find out.”
Wendy Stover, assistant nurse manager at Sutter Memorial, said the babies are doing well but require monitoring and medical care. A three-member team from the hospital, including a respiratory therapist, will travel with the Kalumes to Georgia, where the babies will be transferred to another hospital for care, she said.
“This is going to be a very costly transport, so we’re not going to be able to pay the entire cost,” Stover said, explaining that the hospital can cover only personnel costs. A fund is being established with the Fetal Hope Foundation.
Deborah Kalume, who works from home on her computer, and John Kalume, a computer technician for a company that processes insurance claims, say they don’t have a “gazillion dollars” to promise anyone, and they are not in the “nanny league” to hire help. Despite the dilemma, they are proud, beaming parents.
Let’s hope that someone who has the resources can donate their private jet to this family for the trip home. Unlike other families, this multiple birth was not planned. Natural Identical Triplets are VERY rare. They should consider themselves lucky that this spontaneous act happened to them.
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