A 28-year-old Houston woman, Lauren Perkins, gave birth to sextuplets, three girls and three boys, at Texas Children Hospital Monday. Both mother and babies are in stable condition, the parents announced Tuesday on their website.
The babies were born premature by a scheduled C-section after just 30 weeks of pregnancy and are underweight. All babies weighed between 1lb and 2lbs.
The babies were brought into the world in merely four minutes, from 10:26 to 10:30 pm local time Monday, and are presently kept in intensive care unit as the doctors say babies born with such low birth-weight are at the risk of complications for weeks after the delivery.
We decided to go for all six and trust God with my health and the babies, Lauren wrote on her website The Perkins Pack. I do not want anyone to think we took it lightly or that it was easy. It was the hardest decision we've ever had to make, and I don't wish it on anyone.
The birth, however, was not a natural process. The couple conceived the sextuplets after 18 months wait for a child, using ovulation induction with intrauterine insemination.
That involved two weeks of shots and a couple of turkey bastings, her husband David Perkins said. After the two-week wait we found out Lauren was indeed pregnant, but with really high hormone levels, so an ultrasound was recommended to see what was going on.
There was a 25 per cent chance the procedure would work at all, and if it worked, a 25 per cent chance of twins, he said, adding, The odds went down from there on multiples, with a one per cent chance of sextuplets.
On learning about the risk of delivering six babies, doctors advised them to abort some of the babies by a process called selective reduction. However, the couple went ahead with their decision to give birth to all of them.
We knew something was up when we saw the doctor's jaw drop... he had seen six babies! Our feelings range from excited, overwhelmed, and scared, all at the same time, David wrote.
Doctors say that usually the chances of survival of such low weight premature infants are acute and they have higher chances of suffering from severe mental or physical disabilities in future. However, in this case, the longer gestation period is a positive factor.
Giving birth to three babies at 25 weeks is riskier than six babies at 30 weeks, Dr Sean Blackwell, of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, told the Houston Chronicle.
Given today's miracles of neonatal-intensive care, I'd say those sextuplets have a good chance of survival and survival without problems, he said, according to a Daily Mail report.
We are completely trusting God throughout this adventure and we appreciate all the prayers and support from our family and friends!!, the new parents wrote on their family site.