Monday, September 2, 2013--6:10p.m.
MADISON--Pretty much nothing about Cassie and Frank Vanderwall's journey to parenthood has been normal. "I don't have anything to compare it to so I'm guessing it's just pregnancy on steroids," said Cassie.
The couple struggled with infertility, but after seeking out help, got quite the surprise: "It was one, two, three and then Frank and I looked at each other, triplets great," she said. "And then it was four, five. Frank's like 'you done?' and she goes 'yes, sir', he goes 'are you kidding?' she goes 'I don't kid about these things'."
But 18 weeks in, they got a major scare: "I called our specialist doctor ....and he said 'if you're not here by Friday you could lose this pregnancy'. The couple packed up and headed for Phoenix, where their doctor was. Cassie was there for three months (Frank went back and forth), before she gave birth to five babies in early August: four girls and a boy.
Over the last week or so they've shuttled the babies home to Meriter in Madison. The whole family was reunited in Wisconsin for the first time Sunday night. "We have grandpas and grandmas and great-grandparents up here now," they said. "Aunts, uncles, everybody's just flocking, we feel very blessed to have a quite large village to raise these children."
And while they've still got a ways to go before the babies can officially move home, the Vanderwalls say they're ready for whatever comes their way. "Life will never be normal again with five at the same time," said Frank. "People ask what the theme of our nursery is and I tell them chaos," said Cassie.
To check out Cassie's blog: www.bump2babies.wordpress.com
For fundraising info: www.youcaring.com/V5