OGDEN — Five years after the birth of their twins, an Ogden couple is now proud parents of quadruplets.
Monica Duenas and Juan Valencia’s four newborns are currently in the NICU at McKay-Dee Hospital.
“I don’t know what happened,” Duenas quipped during an interview Tuesday. “Seven kids, three pregnancies — as a teenager I never thought this was going to happen to me.”
Nonidentical boys Jesualdo and Ander Jesus and girls Belen and Monserrat were delivered by cesarean section March 3 at 28 weeks, after Duenas’ water broke at her sister’s home.
“(The nurses) compare, ‘like wow, your kids are doing really great,’” Duenas said.
Road to quadruplets
For Duenas and Valencia, it was the unexpected culmination of the couple’s lengthy attempt to conceive a fourth child.
“I said we should have one more — just four (total),” Duenas remembered. “I want four. I would like to have four.”
They were already parents to a 16-year-old daughter, Lili, and 5-year-old twins, Elena and Esteban.
After nearly a year of trying, they turned to reproductive care.
“The lady there said, ‘We could just give you medicine to help you ovulate, and you pray to God that works,’” Duenas recalled. “You want things quick, right? And it doesn’t happen — only when the Lord wants to.”
Soon, Duenas was pregnant, and the good news came in bunches.
“They told us that we were having just two, so I said to my husband, ‘it’s OK. We had two already,” she said.
A subsequent ultrasound and trip to the doctor, however, revealed a surprise.
“Yeah, he says you have two more,” Duenas said. “I just said, ‘Lord, what am I going to do with four?’”
Confronted with what was characterized as a high-risk pregnancy, Duenas and Valencia were determined to go forward.
"He says, 'You have two more." I just said, ‘Lord, what am I going to do with four?’” - Monica Duenas
“I said, ‘No, if I lose them for some reason it’s because the Lord wants it that way. I’m just going to keep them,” Duenas recalled.
Duenas said the pregnancy was not easy, resulting in bleeding, significant back pain and two trips to the emergency room.
Three-and-a-half weeks after the c-section delivery, Duenas said she visits the NICU to see her babies twice a day.
“It still hurts, because I don’t have them (at home),” she said. “It’s not easy, but God gives you the strength.”
The path forward
The couple said they aren't so concerned about coming up with space in their Ogden home for the newborns as they are finding the time necessary to rear their children and the money to pay the bills.
Duenas holds a job. She said her husband has had to quit one of his two jobs.
“I don’t know how we’re going to do it with the money and not being at work. Are we going to be able to make the mortgage payments and things like that?” Duenas said. “I was telling him, ‘don’t worry, we’ll see, there’s a way. God will help us. He’ll let us know how to do it.”
The couple is grateful for the four blessings that came into their lives — bundled all together.
“If you really want something in life and if God thinks that it’s something that’s going to help you in the long run with your life, he’ll give it to you,” Duenas said.
Duenas said it may be mid-May to early June before her newborns get to come home.
St. Joseph Parish’s Council of Catholic Women is planning to host a baby shower and fundraiser* for the family on April 9 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Ogden. Those seeking further information are asked to call the St. Joseph Parish office at 801-399-5627.
*KSL.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does KSL.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.