Amanda Sallaska’s sonogram shows the quadruplets the couple is expecting this year. The mother said two of the babies will be boys, one will be a girl, and one is “being shy.” The couple was scheduled to have an appointment this morning in Wichita, at which they will find out the gender of the fourth child. Courtesy photos
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
The household of Grant and Amanda Sallaska of Liberal already has one young man living in it, and later this year, the couple will have four more mouths to feed.
Amanda is expecting quadruplets. She and Grant first found the news out in the spring, and naturally, both were shocked.
After a couple of weeks, both parents calmed down, but Amanda said things at the Sallaska house are still kind of crazy.
“It’s scary, but exciting all at once,” she said.
According to www.huggies.com, statistically, 90 percent of all multiple births are twins, with the remaining 10 percent being split between triplets, quadruplets and more. Amanda said she has heard similar numbers from the physicians she has seen.
“Just by what we’ve been told from doctors, it’s not that common,” she said.
Grant and Amanda did use fertility medications, and the mother said doing so made the possibility of multiple births higher.
“It’s a risk that you take,” she said.
Raising one kid can take a lot of work, and now with five children, that work load will obviously grow. Amanda said no matter the number of kids, no parents are ever fully ready to raise kids.
“It’s hard to know what to expect or what you’re going to encounter until they’re all here,” she said. “We’re doing our best to get ready and to mentally prepare ourselves, but I don’t think you’ll ever be 100 percent ready. You just have to take it one day at a time.”
The couple has begun getting the nursery and the house ready for the newborns, and Grant said diapers have definitely been part of the grocery list for the Sallaskas.
“You just take everything you would do for one, and multiply it by four,” he said. “It’s what we’re trying to do.”
Prior to her pregnancy, Amanda worked as an oncology nurse at the cancer center in Liberal. Grant owns Gas Lawn Pros, a lawn mowing service.
Amanda said there had been no history of multiple births in the family, nor have there been any complications with the current pregnancy.
“The high risk specialist was just concerned with the amount of time that I would spend on my feet as a floor nurse at the cancer center,” she said. “He felt that in a pregnancy like this that’s already high risk, I need to step away.”
Even working as a nurse has not kept Amanda from having to educate herself about the birth she is about to give.
“It’s easy to know what to do with one, but times that by four,” she said. “There’s a lot more requirements. I found a really good book by Dr. Barbara Luke, who is a specialist in high risk multiples or higher order multiples, when there are three or more. The nutrition requirements, the vitamin requirements and all that extra you have to do when you’re carrying more than just one. I’ve just really educated myself and have done the best that I can to keep myself and the babies as healthy as possible.”
The Sallaskas have been using both a specialist and an obstetrician during Amanda’s pregnancy.
“We see Dr. Knudsen here locally, and we are seeing a high risk specialist out of Wichita,” she said.
Quadruplet pregnancies likewise increase the need for a caesarian section. Amanda will give birth through this method, but the new Sallaska babies will not be born in Liberal.
“It will be done at Wesley Medical in Wichita as things get closer,” she said.
As for what the newborns will be, the couple knows the genders of three of the children.
“We have two boys, a girl and one that’s being shy,” Amanda said.
The couple had an appointment this morning in Wichita, in which they were expected to find out what the fourth baby would be.
“They’re doing a cardiobiophysical profile,” Amanda said Tuesday. “They do it for each one of the babies. They said it’ll take over three hours. We should know before noon on Friday.”
The Sallaskas have a 5-year-old son who starts kindergarten this year, and his mother said the young man is already excited about having new siblings in the house.
“He loves to tell everybody, ‘My mommy’s having four babies all at once,’” she said. “He’s very excited. He’s been an only child for a long time. He’s wanted brothers and sisters, and he gets four. I don’t think as a kid, he really understands the complexity of it, but if you ask him, he’s really excited about it.”
Both Amanda and Grant are 29, and the mother said life in the Sallaska house will just get busier with the arrival of the babies. As for when that arrival will occur, Amanda said it should be around the time of Thanksgiving.
“With quadruplets, statistics say they are usually born somewhere between 30 and 34 weeks,” she said. “The high risk specialist, with as healthy as I am and as good as things have been going, thinks I will probably deliver sometime between the 32nd and 34th week, which puts us middle to the end of November.”