Midstate family expecting 5 additions

The Macon TelegraphMay 19, 2013 

Editor's note: This story was originally published Feb. 25, 1995.

Angela and Kerry Lineberger are about to beat all the odds. Sometime within the next two weeks, the Houston County couple will become proud parents of quintuplets.

It's a medical rarity, and it may never have happened before in Georgia, according to the national resource organization Mothers of Super Twins.

State and national agencies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the National Center for Health Statistics don't keep records of quintuplet births. But Angela Lineberger says she's been assured that this may be a Georgia first.

"We're so excited, really we are," the 30-year-old said from her hospital bed at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, where she has been confined for the last six weeks.

Kerry Lineberger, 32, a chemical engineer at Weyerhauser in Oglethorpe, agreed, but he said he is more nervous than excited at this point.

"I just want the babies and Mama to be OK," he said.

Angela, who is 5 feet 3 inches tall, is doing well amazingly so, said Macon obstetrician Dr. William L. Koontz even though her weight has increased by about 50 percent over her normal 120 pounds. But she isn't sleeping much and has to stay in bed most of the time.

"I think I can handle this for another couple of weeks," she said. "But everything aches and hurts, especially at night."

Four of the five babies all boys are healthy at 30 weeks gestation. Each weighs in the 3 pound range a good, healthy weight for even a single baby during the seventh month of pregnancy, Koontz said.

The fifth baby, whose sex is unknown, is much smaller and of some concern right now.

"But we just hope for the best," Angela said.

The babies were conceived while she was on fertility drugs trying to get pregnant a second time. Her son, Tully, was born two years ago. Fertility drugs were used then, too.

"We knew multiple births were a possibility, and we were kind of hoping for twins," Kerry said. "But this this was a shock."

When they found out about the pregnancy, the couple thought there was only one baby. As the pregnancy progressed and ultrasounds were performed, the count went from "one" to "more than one" to "four" by last September.

"By the time Angela called me at work in November to tell me there were actually five babies, I just said, 'Oh well -- four, five or six, it doesn't matter at this point,' " said the smiling but somewhat apprehensive father.

Once the shock was over, the couple said they began to love the idea of a big family, even though they know "we're going to be crazy no matter what," Angela said.

The couple said they are also grateful for the help they've had over the last few months.

Both their families live in Valdosta, and grandparents have been around constantly to help with their grandson, Tully, and to give moral support to the couple.

Friends and members of their church have been supportive, too. Angela has a list of names of people willing to pitch in once the quints are born.

"The hospital staff has been awesome, too," Kerry said.

Nurses have even cooked dinner for Angela so she wouldn't tire of hospital food.

"It's become like one big family involved in this," said Koontz, who even comes to visit Angela on Sunday afternoons with his 11-yearold daughter, Rachel.

Offers of help, donations of formula from different companies, and car seats for the newborns all make the Lineberger family feel supported by their community and confident that they will be able to handle all the babies.

"Really, the only thing we're worried about is having enough diapers," Kerry said.

"It's true," Angela said. "I'm not really worried. It's going to be fun. We have a lot to look forward to."

The Linebergers do have a lot to look forward to beginning with the actual delivery by Caesarean section. Koontz predicted at least 25 health professionals will be on hand to help.

Because of the size of the babies and the strain on Angela's body, the babies will be delivered before their full term.

Once they're born, the babies will be in the Medical Center's neonatal intensive care unit for some time.

And that's when the Linebergers plan on getting their house ready for the baby invasion.

"We just haven't been able to do much yet," Kerry said of their three-bedroom home. "Angela's been on complete bed rest for such a long time. I've been working. I guess we'll just worry about getting them all home, then we'll worry about what to do with them."

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