It’s a holiday family reunion unlike any other here in the islands. Hawaii’s first set of quintuplets will be home for Christmas.
Three boys are already home: Kupono in blue, Kapena in green, and Keolu in red.
The fourth boy, Keahi, and the lone girl, Kamalii, should be home next week.
Doctors called it a medical marvel when Marcie Dela Cruz gave birth to them in October.
She went through in vitro fertilization and of the two embryos injected, one of them split in two and those two embryos split again, which resulted in the four boys who are identical.
With three of the babies home, Mom and Dad are gradually working out a system and they say so far, so good. But these are baby steps compared to what it’s going to be like in the months ahead.
This is the first time we’re seeing the babies out of the hospital and for now, each one will have a designated color when it comes to clothing.
If Mom and Dad want them to wear the same outfits occasionally, the babies will also wear wristbands. That’s the best way to keep track of who’s who.
“We all have trouble still if they’re wearing a long-sleeve shirt, we still have to kind of peek (and go) ‘Oh, okay, this is Kaolu’ or ‘This is Kupono’ because they look very very much alike,” said Marcie Dela Cruz.
Weighing seven to eight pounds, three of the babies will share one crib and the other two will be in another crib.
Mom and Dad say so far the three are in sync, waking up and eating every three hours.
“Mom’s been staying with us so we got a system going on,” said Marcie Dela Cruz. “We wake up, the babies are good eaters so they eat and we burp them and they go right back to sleep, and we’re right behind them.”
“She wakes me up, shaking my toe, I just jump up, no hesitate,” said father Raymond Dela Cruz. “I just get up, help them feed, because there’s three of them.”
The family recently bought a 12-passenger van which should hold the quintuplets, two-year old Makaio, and a few helpers. They’ve already tried it out and gone shopping at Pearlridge Center with the three boys in a tandem stroller.
“The trickiest thing was trying to maneuver that huge stroller around, so we’re like okay, we need to just wait here while you go walking and see what you want,” said Marcie Dela Cruz.
They know it’s only going to get trickier when all of the babies are home. It’ll be the true test and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
“It’s just so many blessings that this is such a good way to end the year to have them all with us, finally. I think that’s what we’re looking forward to obviously, but we need to get to what our normal life is going to be,” said Marcie Dela Cruz.
Their personalities are developing, especially for the lone girl, Kamalii, who’s the princess.
Raymond will be in charge of babysitting duties when Marcie goes back to work in February, so we asked him to show off his diaper-changing skills and he seems to have it under control.
Those diapers need to be changed seven to eight times a day, so diapers still top their wishlist of donations.
Keiki O Ka Aina, a non-profit organization and also a partner of KHON2’s Laulima Giving Project, will accept donations at its Kalihi office.
Those who live on Windward Oahu can go to Kapaa Auto Body in the industrial section of Kapaa Quarry.
American Savings Bank branches are accepting monetary donations under the account named “Hawaii Five OMG.”
You can also email the family directly at email@example.com.