First Came Elizabeth...
Andy and Stacy Daufeldt of Durant, IA, had always wanted children. Yet neither of them had imagined just how difficult it would be.
When the good ‘ole fashion way didn’t work, the Daufeldts turned to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for help. Stacy had a treatment called Intrauterine Insemination, better known as IUI, during which sperm is placed inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization.
Andy and Stacy were overjoyed when they finally got pregnant.
“I loved being pregnant,” Stacy said. “I wasn’t sick. I didn’t really have morning sickness. I felt great.”
Stacy was certain she would go late. But much to their surprise, Elizabeth Daufledt arrived six weeks early, delivered by Richard Kishiue, MD, on June 17, 2004 at just 4 lbs 11 oz. Living in Blue Grass, IA, the Daufeldts were able to deliver at the Davenport BirthCenter. Elizabeth was then admitted to the NICU where she would spend four weeks.
Andy and Stacy appreciated that they didn’t have to drive far to see their daughter. “The commute was wonderful,” Stacy said.
Andy agreed. “I would just pop in during my lunch breaks to see her.”
And the nurses really started to feel like family. “I can’t say enough about the shift nurses,” Andy said. “They made the NICU feel like it was a second home.”
Three Times the Joy
Eventually the Daufledts decided they wanted to grow their family again.
They returned to Iowa City, this time undergoing in vitro fertilization. In contrast to IUI where fertilization happens within the uterus, IVF involves fertilizing the egg outside the human body. Then, the embryos are placed in the uterus.
Two embryos were implanted, one of which had been graded “nearly perfect.” This meant the chance of Stacy becoming pregnant with multiples was low.
Much to their surprise, not only had both embryos survived, but one had split.
“We had done the math,” Andy said. “The chances of us having multiples were low. The chances of an embryo splitting were even lower—about 5-7 percent.”
The Daufeldts had only been planning for one baby; now they were going to have three.
One Foot Forward
Elizabeth holds one of her little siblings for the first time
Stacy’s pregnancy was relatively normal. She experienced no complications, working up until 22 weeks at her old job grooming dogs. The Daufeldts counted the weeks as they passed, growing more comfortable that their three babies would survive once they entered the world.
It was at the 30-week mark that Stacy went into labor, she and Andy rushing to Genesis Medical Center, East Rusholme St., Davenport. They’d been told they’d probably go early and have to be transferred to the University of Iowa to deliver. But that did not go as planned.
Dr. Rita Aronson of The Group was on call that day and immediately concluded that the Daufledts could not be transferred and would have to deliver at the Genesis BirthCenter.
“She could feel a foot,” Stacy said, still in disbelief all these years later. “I was dilated at 3 cm and she could feel a foot.”
The BirthCenter quickly prepared, setting up separate stations to care for each baby. The triplets were delivered via c-section on Oct. 19, 2006, each weighing about 3 lbs.
Andy recalls being in the delivery room as his children entered the world, wanting nothing more than to hear them cry.
“It’s all I wanted,” he said. “I just wanted to hear them cry.”
Another Stay at the NICU
Brady, Bryce, and Adison Daufeldt were never transferred to the University of Iowa, receiving their care instead at the Genesis NICU. The Davenport BirthCenter offers a Level II Regional Neonatology Center—the only NICU in the Quad Cities staffed full time by neonatologists from the nationally recognized University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital
The triplets spent about eight weeks in the NICU. Their parents were overjoyed to find some of the same nurses caring for their newborns that had taken care of Elizabeth.
“Mary Lou, Michelle, and Lori were amazing,” Andy said. “They were always there when we needed them.”
The triplets made it home by Christmas, the best present the Daufeldts could have asked for.
Nearly fifteen years after their first child’s NICU stay, all the Daufeldt children are happy and healthy. They attend school in Durant and are active in athletics.
And while all the children are similar in appearance, each is so different.
“Elizabeth is so kind and really cares about what people think. She’s very mature for her age,” Stacy said about her oldest daughter.
“She’s genuine. What you see is what you get,” Andy added.
“Bryce has a good heart. He’s competitive. He’ll never let something fly. If he’s sitting back and something is going on, he gets involved. He’s not a spectator,” Andy said of the oldest triplet.
“He’s impulsive,” Stacy added. “But very caring.”
As for Brady, his father describes him as, “Outgoing. He loves to be outdoors. He loves fishing.”
Adison, the lone girl of the triplets, is undoubtedly more mature than her brothers, says the Daufeldt parents. “She takes care of the boys,” Stacy said. “She’ll make sure they do their homework…”
“She’s firecracker,” Elizabeth said of her little sister.
Andy agreed. “She’s sassy.”
Andy and Stacy know how lucky they are to have four healthy children, especially considering all were born premature.
“We’re grateful for everything,” Stacy and Andy said. “Grateful for everything Genesis has done for us.”
--By Tyler Mitchell