Part 2 of 2
Colleen Crandell had three grown children from a previous marriage and a new grandbaby but she and husband Cy wanted a child together. After extensive fertility treatments failed, they opted for the last resort, in vitro fertilization. At the ages of 40 and 49 respectively, Colleen and Cy had quadruplets Feb. 10, 2002.
What's a day with quadruplets like? It's expensive.
The Crandells use about 25 diapers a day. They use two big cans of powdered formula and a gallon of bottled water each day. Also, they have to give the kids rice cereal to help with a reflux problem so they go through 4-5 boxes of cereal a week.
The Crandells estimate it costs nearly $260 a week just for formula and diapers. Fortunately, many of the numerous clothes and toys were gifts. And all four are eating three solid meals a day and will be off of formula soon.
The Crandells don't have any consistent regular help. Colleen said her cousins, Dave and Kristy Dooley, who live down the road, helped a lot when the babies first came home. And their kids, Colten, 9, and Lacy, 11, pitch in frequently. The Dooleys have been a blessing for the Crandells as most of their family live out of town.
The babies are still getting some therapy through the First Steps Program. It's state funded and provides for physical, occupational and developmental therapists to work with preemies and babies that could have developmental problems. The Crandell quadruplets qualified due to their birth weights.
The quads eat about every four hours so taking them out for any reason has to be planned very strategically.
"I've taken them to Terre Haute a few times," Colleen said. "Cy goes with me on the weekends. But he works such long hours during the week so a lot of times Lacy goes with me.
"She pushes the babies in the quad stroller and I push a cart and do the shopping. It's amazing how many people have stopped Lacy, as young as she looks, and asked if those were her babies. I've noticed when I'm with Lacy or another female, people stop us a lot and ask about the kids. When Cy is along we're almost never questioned."
Colleen said it takes about an hour and a half to prepare the kids and get the car packed to go to Terre Haute. And travel time, round trip, is another hour and a half. So she only has an hour of actual shopping time before she has to head back home to feed everyone. But the Crandells have absolutely no regrets.
"We feel totally blessed," Colleen said smiling contentedly. "Each day is so exciting and different. The kids have completely different personalities. Little Cyrus is always happy. But he's like a kamikaze. He's very determined and high energy. If he wants to go somewhere and one of his sisters is in front of him he doesn't go around. He just crawls over them.
"Alyssa is a little prima donna. She's very cuddly and lovable and wants constant attention. She would have been happy as an only child," Colleen laughed. "We call Kelsey a little imp. She's so tiny. She looks too little to do what she does. Her twin, Chloe, is much more laid back. But Chloe likes a lot of attention too.
"The twins use to sit and kind of play together. But now that they're all crawling it's a free for all. Cyrus bulls his way around. They all pull hair, poke eyes and take toys from one another. They're just playing, exploring.
"Sometimes they'll just start laughing," Colleen recalled. "One will do something that tickles the other and they all giggle and laugh."
When asked how his life had changed in the last year, the new daddy replied, "I used to have other things I could do. I don't have that option anymore. My full time job on the weekends now is babies," Cy said grinning. "That's OK. The time requirements they need will change again as they get older. They're great entertainment.
"Really, I hope they're happy and do what they want to do with their lives. I think they may have a different perspective than some other kids. Growing up in the country is different than being in the city. That seems to be a luxury anymore."
Colleen said they are planning to home school the kids. She has a passion for gardening and herbs and intends to share that with the quads when they're older. And they want to teach the children the responsibilities of raising animals. They plan to have lots of pets.
When asked about the cost, Cy said, "It takes a lot. We're penniless money wise. But we're rich in this way," he quipped pointing to the babies. "We didn't really have a lifestyle that was very exotic anyhow so our lifestyle didn't change much."
Oldest sister, Amanda, was asked how she felt when she first heard about her mother having quadruplets.
"I couldn't believe it," she said. "Until they got here. But when they got here I just fell in love with them."