Meryl and John Ferraro were stunned when, at a regular doctor's appointment, they discovered five little heartbeats inside Meryl's womb. Even though doctors originally wanted the couple to have selective reduction in order to increase the babies' chances of survival, they placed their faith in God and gave birth to the "healthiest set of quintuplets ever born."
When the doctor suggested the couple "choose which of our babies would live and which ones would die," John Ferraro wrote on the family's blog that they came to the decision that "if God was giving us five babies, there was a reason."
All five babies were born healthy after a dangerous pregnancy, seven hours of labor, and three minutes of delivery. It took a team of "24 people in the operating room and another 40-50 people in the baby recovery room," John added.
The Ferraros came up with a creative way to keep track of their little ones. Gabrielle, Riley, Addison, Cooper, and Emerson will collectively share the acronym "GRACE."
"We figured we would eventually forget their names, so if we yell 'GRACE,' they'd all come running," Meryl told CBS.
The babies were able to come home only one month after being born, which is astonishing for a set of quintuplets. Only 18 weeks into the pregnancy, Meryl was told that she was only dilated 4 cm, putting the babies at grave risk for premature birth. Doctors suggested an emergency procedure to help close the gap and give the babies a better chance at survival, but warned the family that the surgery could cause premature labor.
Amazingly, all five babies managed to last until Sept. 26, when they were finally born via C-section. Doctors, and the family, are in awe of the babies' survival and ability to thrive.
"I don't use the term loosely but these five babies are truly miracles," Dr. John Elliot said at a press conference.
"Just the fact that they made it this far and that they were all home within three weeks is just crazy. I mean, it's truly a miracle. They're all healthy," Meryl told CBS.