Main content

    Patient Stories
    Sutter Children's Center, Sacramento

    Danielle & Ryan - Holaday and Their Fab 4

    Danielle & Ryan -
    Danielle & Ryan - Holaday and Their Fab 4

    It took more than two, often tearful, years for Danielle to conceive. She and Ryan went through countless doctor visits, a painful surgery for Danielle, fertilization drugs, intrauterine insemination (IUI), more fertility drugs and, finally, in vitro fertilization started once and then again. In early May, they finally received the thrilling news that their efforts had paid offDanielle was pregnant.

    But wait, theres more
    The news had just begun to settle in when it got even better. Fertility specialist Dr. Carlos Soto-Arbors detected two heartbeats, meaning both transferred embryos had made itthey would have twins! Then the unexpected happened, one of the embryos divided and then divided again, becoming identical triplets sharing womb space with a fraternal twin. The doctors recommended Danielle and Ryan selectively reduce the number of embryos and though the couple discussed the idea, after prayerful consideration they decided to keep all four.

    Eating for five
    Danielle read everything she could and became a patient of Sutter Womens High-Risk Pregnancy Program. She began seeing program director Dr. William Gilbert and his practice associates weekly and was careful to follow all medical advice, including doing her best to consume 4,500 nutritious calories every day to give her Fab Four every ounce of weight gain possible. An ultrasound at week 14 showed four perfectly formed boys that were doing just fine. Four boys! Ryans dream of one day coaching a son had turned into coaching the better part of a team.

    The pregnancy was predictably challenging, but Danielle was able to make it almost to week 27 before her water broke on October 5. Despite doctors efforts to stop the contractions, baby Evan started coming out the next eveningfist firstno doubt tired of fighting for space in the womb. After Danielle delivered Evan vaginally, her doctors quickly delivered the other three by C-section and whisked the babies off to the NICU.

    Everything was a blur for Danielle and Ryan, but they clearly recall how kind and encouraging the nurses were throughout labor and delivery. And they especially recall how neonatologist Dr. Gustavo Sosa worked at getting all four boysEvan, Kaydan, Jordan and Dylan breathing and then carefully explained the status of each boy to Ryan so that he could relay the news to Danielle. His comforting, yet professional manner is something theyve come to appreciate and its an approach theyve found throughout the high-risk delivery and NICU staff.

    Since that very first night, everyone weve seen has been incredibly thoughtful and patient about explaining things to us, said Danielle.We cant begin to express how much we appreciate them and the care theyve given. 

    Riding the roller coaster
    Because babies do not need to breathe before birth, lungs are among the last organs to develop. Respiratory system challenges are certainly not the only ones a premature infant faces, but breathing problems always require focused attention to ensure the babys survival. Twelve hours after the delivery, Danielle and Ryan got their first taste of the ups and downs that lie ahead when they were jarred by a


    Back to top | More Patient Stories