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Quints’ mom readies for joy, times five

POULSBO — Valentine’s Day brought Courtnee Stevenson what every mother and wife expects: chocolate-covered strawberries and lots of flowers and balloons.

The only difference between Stevenson’s holiday and everyone else’s is that she celebrated at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, where she is awaiting the arrival of Kitsap County’s first quintuplets.

The upcoming delivery and the pressures involved didn’t take away from the day’s heartfelt fun.

“My husband came here with chocolate-covered strawberries and balloons,” Stevenson said. “It was great and Lilli came, too.”

Her husband, Mike, and their 3-year-old daughter have been frequent visitors as Courtnee has been on bedrest since Jan. 12.

Once she and the quints arrive home to Poulsbo, Courtnee said she has told Lilli that they’ll celebrate every holiday missed since she’s been at Swedish.

“I’m doing great and they’re getting to be nearly two pounds,” Stevenson said of the quints Wednesday afternoon. “I just entered my 26th week today.”

The goal is to make it another four weeks but the quints could arrive at any time, she said.

“Every week I make it is better for my babies,” she said.

Even though she is bedrest, Courtnee said she has found ways to reach out to other mothers with quintuplets through the Internet as she prepares for their arrival.

“It makes me feel better to see how well I’m doing, because a lot of moms only made it to 22 weeks,” she said.

As the quints continue to grow, Courtnee said she has noticed some increased discomfort but has yet to experience the usual contractions associated with a multiple birth.

“It’s like having a ton of bricks on me and it’s getting harder to breathe,” she said.

However, every day that passes is better for the four girls and one boy that are on their way, she reiterated.

t Still Mommy’s little girl

With her mom in the hospital, Lilli has spent more time with her dad and Courtnee admitted Lilli is more of daddy’s girl than she’s ever been before.

“She’s doing well and they have a great relationship,” Courtnee said. “Mike has been great with her and he takes her a lot of places.”

The duo went to Disneyland recently and when they visited her after their trip, Courtnee said Lilli told her how she kept chasing Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”

During the course of her hospital stay, Lilli has developed a routine and greets her mom with a kiss, Courtnee said.

“She kisses my tummy and says, ‘I love these babies,’” Courtnee said. “She also keeps asking when I’m going to come home to play.”

Since her return from Disneyland, Lilli has learned a new skill that keeps her closer to her mom as well.

“She’s learned how to dial my number on the phone and she calls me all the time,” Courtnee said, noting that even though she spends the majority of her time with her dad, Lilli told her, “I’m still your little girl.”

t Work on the home front

Members of New Life Christian Church in Silverdale have spearheaded efforts to support the Stevensons as they prepare for the quints’ arrival.

The church has identified several areas of need and is working to accomplish as much as possible before they come home, said New Life Church board member Michael Weiss.

“These people made a tough decision and there’s going to be a great outcome to this,” Weiss said.

One of the things church members and other volunteers had hoped to accomplish before the expected due date was the construction of a new home on the Stevenson’s property. However, winter rains and other factors resulted in a decision to move the home to a different location on the property, he said.

“We’re not going to have it built in time, so we’re going to find a rental property while we work on the house,” Weiss said.

Many volunteers have stepped forward to donate their services for the house’s construction but more than $40,000 is needed to complete the project, he said.

“We still need to get the word out, because there is still a lot of need,” Weiss said. “As the word gets out to people, I think we’re going to see them step up.”

More information on how to help the Stevensons is available at www.5ontheway.com.

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