University of Delaware Office of Public Relations The Messenger Vol. 5, No. 2/1996 A real Good bunch Here's the story of a lovely couple That was looking for a family of its own. They were hoping to have one baby That they could call their own. With apologies to the Bradys... Sitting quietly in the kitchen of his turn-of-the-century Victorian home in southern York County, Pa., following a suppertime feeding accomplished with the help of his wife and two volunteers from his church, Dave Good, Delaware '88, says the birth of his quintuplets in January, 1995, was both a surprise and a blessing. He and his wife, Ruth, had been married for six years and had been trying to have children for about two years when they turned to a fertility program through the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. After learning that Ruth had, indeed, conceived, a sonogram was scheduled in August, 1994. "When they took the sonogram, I didn't understand what I was seeing, so I just listened. When the technician started counting, I wondered how high she would go. I was relieved when she didn't go any further than five," Ruth says, adding, "We always wanted a big family." Dave says the couple knew that fertility drugs raised the chance of multiple births. "We were thinking twins or triplets might be the outcome. When we learned it was quintuplets, we were really shocked...and blessed." The pregnancy was not without complications. Ruth's doctor ordered complete bedrest in the 20th week, and, in the 26th week, she was hospitalized briefly after she started experiencing contractions. It was a difficult time, says Dave, an office manager in Baltimore, because they were not sure if all five babies would survive. "It was very risky. We didn't know if we should plan for five or not," he says, adding they took comfort in family, friends and the fact that "we're strong, Christian people." They also began contacting parents of multiples and reading all the information they could find to prepare for the anticipated birth day. That day came Jan. 25, 1995, almost into Ruth's 31st week of pregnancy, at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, where Dr. Victor Khouzami decided it was time to deliver by caesarean section. Nathan Bennett was born at 3:04 p.m., weighing 3 pounds, 6 ounces. He was followed by Patricia Lynn, 2 pounds, 10 ounces, at 3:05 p.m.; Amanda Ruth, 2 pounds, 8 ounces, at 3:06 p.m.; Phillip David, 2 pounds, 14 ounces, at 3:07 p.m.; and Katelyn Marie, 2 pounds, 6 ounces, also at 3:07 p.m. Because the Good babies were premature, not all came home at once. When the first two children arrived at the house, Ruth jokes, "we thought we were a super mom and dad. Handling two was a cinch. We were even handling four pretty well, because we had four hands. That fifth one tipped the balance a little bit." The Goods have been assisted by an outpouring of support from the people of North Harford Baptist Church in neighboring Jarrettsville, Md., who have teams of volunteers-about 40 total-assigned to help the family from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily, and also on several evenings. The help is much appreciated by the couple, who shortly before conceiving had been making plans to accept a call to a Christian mission in New Jersey. "We went from going to the mission field to becoming one," Dave says, laughing. "We've got these five lives to take care of now." Besides the assistance, the Goods have been able to cope because the household is run on a tight schedule. Ruth, a former elementary school music teacher, says there are pros and cons to such schedules but the parents feared that, without one, they would be feeding children around the clock. The volunteers arrive at 7 a.m., in time to help feed the children, whose high chairs are arranged in a neat semi-circle in the kitchen. The quintuplets take a short nap at 8:30 a.m., have bottles at 9 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. and another short nap at 12:30 p.m. They get bottles at 3 p.m., dinner at 4:30 p.m., a post-dinner nap, then play until 8 p.m. And, says Dave, a most cherished moment is "when they all sleep through the night." Also helping the Goods cope is the fact, Dave says, that he and Ruth are "by nature, kind of calm people. "In this situation," he says, "there's not a lot we're going to do to change things. Instead of worrying, we pray a lot, and we've had hundreds of people praying a lot, and we've trusted that God knows what He's doing. "There's enough in life to worry about. We just get them down at 8, hope they sleep through the night and tomorrow's another day." -Neil Thomas, Delaware '76 While Dave Good is getting a crash course in fathering in the '90s, The Messenger is interested in hearing from other modern dads who would like to share their adventures in fatherhood. Alums with fathering stories to share are asked to contact Mary B. Hopkins at (302) 831-1421 or by fax at (302) 831-1440.