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Congratulations, it's quintuplets: 4 girls and a boy for Austin couple

Andrea Ball
aball@statesman.com

Originally published on January 17, 2009

Austin, meet the Jones quintuplets: Ryan Elizabeth, Lila Addison, Brooklyn Faith, Jack William and Britton Grace .

The four girls and one boy, all of whom weighed between 2 pounds, 2 ounces and 2 pounds, 13 ounces , were born shortly after noon Friday at Seton Medical Center in Austin with help from a team of about 30 doctors, nurses and medical professionals.

The infants, who are 10 weeks early, have the typical problems associated with prematurity, said Dr. Patrick Hodges , a neonatologist helping tend to the babies. They need help breathing and keeping a steady body temperature, but they are in stable condition and doing well, he said.

"We couldn't be happier," said Ethan Jones, the quintuplets' father.

The quintuplets' mother, Casey Jones, underwent a Caesarean section and experienced no complications, said obstetrician Dr. Stephanie Reich . She is expected to leave the hospital in four or five days. The quintuplets are expected to remain in the hospital for several months, Hodges said.

Although quintuplets are rare - about 70 sets of five or more babies were born in the United States in 2005 - they are not unheard of in Central Texas. In 2007, Rachelle and Jayson Wilkinson of Cedar Park had five babies.

Casey and Ethan Jones, who have been married almost 10 years, struggled with fertility problems before using intrauterine insemination to conceive their first daughter, 4-year-old Eliot. Last summer, the couple used the procedure again and got pregnant with quintuplets.

Doctors suggested the family consider "selective reduction" - a process by which some of the fetuses are aborted early in the pregnancy to reduce risks to the mother and other babies. They refused.

An American-Statesman story Thursday about the couple triggered a flood of positive and negative comments on the newspaper's Web site. Some criticized the couple for using insemination and for refusing to abort some of their babies. Some praised the Joneses' commitment to their children.

The couple were also discussed on a local radio show, where people lobbed some of the same remarks.

Those comments stung, Ethan Jones said. But he said he thinks they are off-base.

The chances of becoming pregnant with quintuplets were astronomically low, he said. The pair never imagined this would happen but believed God created the babies for a reason, he said. The couple - who have received a lot of support from members of Riverbend Church - chose to share their story with the public because they wanted to show people how the faith community can rally together in times of need, Jones said.

Over the next few days, the couple plan to rest and focus on their new babies. Big sister Eliot will meet her siblings very soon, he said.

"She's very excited," he said. "I don't think she has a clue what she's in for."

aball@statesman.com; 912-2506