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Four is more _ of everything that infants need

First of a series of updates on the Pasco County couple expecting quadruplets in September.

Take four newborn babies.

Change their diapers 10 times a day.

That's 280 diapers a week.

"I guess we're going to start buying diapers," said Mary Jo Adamita, 33, of New Port Richey, who is expecting quadruplets.

This week, the family will prepare for the big event by going over the huge number of things needed to care for four infants. Acquiring diapers by the hundreds will be just one item on a lengthy list.

A fully stocked nursery, for example, will have four cribs, a changing table, shelves for baby clothes, and cases of baby oil, baby wipes and baby powder.

A friend of Mrs. Adamita has given the family one crib, but they still have three to go.

"We're going to start looking through the paper," Mrs. Adamita said. "It's kind of hard (to shop), because I can't go to yard sales, which I originally intended to do."

Doctor's orders keep Mrs. Adamita at home most of the time. Her husband, Salvatore, 29, and her sons Anthony, 10, and Christopher, 12, do most of the shopping and housework.

"We have to get a changing table," she said."We already have the two car seats; we need to get two (more)."

The seats were a gift from one of Salvatore Adamita's customers. He runs his own business, the Blizzard Wizzard, driving an ice cream van all over west Pasco.

"I have customers already asking what they can do to help," he said last week.

Expenses will be "overwhelming," Mrs. Adamita said. "I have no idea how much it's all going to be. Originally, when we were going to have the one baby, we were going to fix the nursery up real nice. But now . . . we can't look at the short term. We've got to look at the long run."

Before she became pregnant through in vitro fertilization, Mrs. Adamita helped her husband with their ice cream business, and they made a comfortable living. They were more than ready to support one new child.

Against the odds, though, all four of the implanted fertilized eggs became viable embryos. Now, they will have to support four new children, and their income will be cut by more than half.

The potential expenses are daunting.

They looked into buying a quad stroller but balked at the price: $600. Now they are thinking about getting two two-seat strollers that would be a bit more affordable at $120 each.

The nursery will be in an 11- by 12-foot bedroom with a walk-in closet now used by Anthony and Christopher. The boys will move to a room the family will add to the existing two-bedroom, two-bath house.

Mrs. Adamita also has become a dedicated coupon clipper.

"Every Sunday, anything to do with babies I'm clipping it out," she said. "People might not think a 50-cent coupon is a lot, but it adds up here and there."

Baby swings are essential, but they don't come built for four.

"No, you have to buy one for each," Mrs. Adamita said. "Other mothers of multiples told me they are lifesavers, since you can't very well rock all four of them at once."

Each crib will have its own comforter, skirt and crib bumper.

"We're getting all those to match since we're getting all separate cribs," Mrs. Adamita said. "We have to go to Home Depot to buy the shelving unit. It doesn't even pay to put these clothes in dressers."

Mothers of Super-Twins, a national organization for multiple-birth parents to which Mrs. Adamita belongs, puts out a newsletter with tips and advice for expectant and new mothers.

Maureen Boyle, its executive director, said she encourages them "to talk to other families and, if at all possible, to visit them."

"Get an idea of what works with them," she said. "The living situation will be totally reversed from what is normal."

That is becoming apparent already: Mrs. Adamita said she can't sleep comfortably on a flat bed anymore. Pregnant women usually are advised to sleep on their sides, but she has a baby on her side no matter how she turns.

"They told me the best thing for me to get is a rocking recliner," she said.

"Right now, we're just going to get what we'll definitely need in the beginning," she said. "By the time we start buying baby clothes, it's just going to be unbelievable."

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