MESA, Ariz. -- For the second time in three weeks, quintuplets were delivered at a Mesa hospital.
California resident Meryl Ferraro gave birth Sept. 26 to three girls and two boys at Mesa's Banner Desert Medical Center, but the road to the delivery room for her and her kids wasn't an easy one. Meryl's pregnancy was high risk so she and her husband, John, turned to Dr. John Elliot, who is know worldwide for his knowledge of high-order multiples.
"The first doctor we saw basically gave us a bunch of doom and gloom," Meryl said. "So when you're faced with that, you're looking for someone else to give you hope."
Meryl needed emergency surgery in order to save the babies during her 17th week. The fate of her babies didn't look good.
"I told her husband I didn't think that she was going to make it another week at 17 weeks," Elliot said. "I don't use the term loosely, but these babies are truly miracles."
There was also a 95 percent chance of pre-term labor. But thanks to great care, Meryl was able to make it to 32 weeks and five days. It's a full month better than the national average.
Gabrielle "Gabby" Ann Ferraro was born first, at 11:01 a.m. Riley "Ry" Daniel Ferraro was the first boy, and the biggest, weighing 4 lbs, 6 oz. He was born at 11:02 a.m. Cooper "Coop" Elliott Ferraro was born third at 11:03 a.m. His middle name is honor of Dr. John Elliott. Emerson "Emmy" Joy Ferraro was born fourth and is the biggest girl. Last but not least was Addison "Addy" Faith Ferraro, who was the smallest of the bunch. Their names spell out GRACE. It's appropriate for this kind of miracle.
"We picked boys' and girls' names for each letter before we even knew the sexes," Meryl said. "Then we figured later on, you know, instead of remembering all their names we can just call them grace and they'll all come."
The Ferraros already have a daughter named Gianna, who is 2 years old. She was a little camera shy but is said to be excited about her new brothers and sisters.
"Now that we're going to have a big family we're excited about it," John Ferraro said. "Watching them all grow up and I think they'll be a great team together.
The babies are doing fine but will need to stay in the hospital for three to four weeks. The family plans to return home to Fullerton, Calif., once all the babies have been discharged from the NICU.
You can visit their blog, "G.R.A.C.E. Plus One," for updates on the babies' progress.