For several years, Stephanie Freels prayed to God for a very special reason, and all she wished for was that He would heed her prayers.

She sometimes had her doubts – but on December 23, 2022, everything changed.

After years of struggling with infertility, Stephanie finally fell pregnant.

However, the positive news was just the beginning of an incredibly emotional roller coaster…

Having children and creating a family is considered a given by many. Naturally, people want to pass on their legacy and witness their offspring grow up.

Unfortunately, some couples face the heartache of remaining childless, despite their strong desire to become parents. The emotional toll of undergoing repeated disappointment is hard to fathom, something only those who’ve experienced it can truly understand. When one already has children, the perspective might differ – not being able to have biological children doesn’t feel like end of the world. But of course, it’s easy to say when you already have kids of your own.

Stephanie, 27, and Graham Freels, 29, undoubtedly grappled with these emotions for many years.

Despite their relatively young age, the Washington-based couple had been trying to have children for several years. Unfortunately, their attempts had been unsuccessful – each time a pregnancy test turned out negative their hearts were broken anew.

The couple, who married in 2017, also faced challenging odds. Shortly after Stephanie and Graham wed, Stephanie was hospitalized due to a pituitary cyst diagnosis, causing hormonal imbalances and severe headaches. Though the cyst was removed, it still affected their attempts at conception.

After years of disappointment and doubt, Stephanie turned to her greatest source of comfort, the Lord.

”For years, we had prayed that God would bless us with children, and now it was finally coming true! I’ve always wanted a large family, but I could have never imagined it would happen all at once,” she said in a statement according to St. Joseph’s.

On the day before Christmas Eve, they finally learned that Stephanie was pregnant.

Following ovulation induction and multiple rounds of intrauterine insemination, the test finally showed a positive result. Realizing that they were about to become first-time parents was naturally overwhelming.

”It was a pretty incredible morning for us,” said Stephanie.

After that, Stephanie underwent several hospital tests, but one thing stood out. Hormone tests indicated the possibility of more than one baby.

In January 2023, their first ultrasound confirmed the presence of more surprises. It wasn’t just one baby in Stephanie’s belly – it was five.

Stephanie and Graham were expecting quintuplets.

”It was one of the craziest moments of our lives,” Stephanie said and continued:

”We were so excited and confident that God had purposefully entrusted us with these five precious babies. However, we also knew there were serious risks to carrying quintuplets.”

To understand how rare and unique this is, consider the statistics – out of over 3.6 million births recorded in the United States in 2020, only 29 were quintuplets or higher-order multiples.

Receiving the news of quintuplets was undoubtedly overwhelming for the young couple – but even more challenges and trials awaited. Carrying so many babies is extremely taxing on the mother.There’s a high risk of complications, and a lot can happen on the path to delivery.

Stephanie quickly realized she needed a doctor she could trust, and began searching online to find a suitable option.

“Right after we learned that we were expecting quintuplets, I hopped on YouTube and started doing some research to find the right doctor and hospital to deliver our babies,” said Graham.

Stephanie and her husband soon heard about Dr. John Elliott, a renowned perinatologist based in Phoenix, specializing in higher-order multiple pregnancies.

At that time, the couple had just signed a lease for a new apartment in Washington State.

”I called up the landlord and I said, ‘I think we’re about to have a lot of kids, and I don’t think that apartment is going to work for us anymore,” Graham recalled.

Soon after learning about the pregnancy, the Freels made the brave decision to move from Washington State to Phoenix to be close to the medical team at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Fortunately, Graham could keep his full-time job and work from Phoenix, while Stephanie focused entirely on managing her quintuplet pregnancy.

Stephanie had initially planned to carry the babies until the 34th week, but it proved easier said than done. Additionally, Stephanie suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Then, in the 27th week, something Stephanie had dreaded occurred.

She suddenly experienced intense abdominal pain and realized the gravity of the situation. In early June, she was admitted to the hospital in a lot of pain and with her body was swollen.




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