Parents of sextuplets speak out for first time in Houston
HOUSTON -- This morning, the parents of the so-called 'Perkins Pack' spoke publicly for the first time since the babies were born.
Pearland parents Lauren and David Perkins met with reporters during a news conference at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women Medical Center. Lauren, who went on bedrest at 18 weeks, had set an original goal of delivering the babies at 28 weeks, but she managed to maintain the pregnancy until 30 weeks and one day.
David credited excellent health care, as well as his wife's good health going into the pregnancy, with contributing to the babies' success. Lauren was an avid runner before the pregnancy.
Lauren said, "This has been an overwhelming experience, every step of the way, ever since learning there would be six babies."
"We're just an ordinary couple entrusted by God with an extraordinary blessing," David said.
The three girls and three boys were born last week. They have reportedly been named Andrew Noah, Benjamin Luke, Levi Thomas, Allison Kate, Caroline Grace and Leah Michelle.
Dr. Stephen Welty, head of neonatology section at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, said there were 35 people in the delivery room, and the six babies were delivered within four minutes. Several simulations had been planned ahead of time so everyone knew their expected role.
Five of the six babies are doing well, doctors say, but Leah is suffering from some setbacks. Lauren added that Leah had emergency surgery last week, but she is improving. All the babies are gaining weight.
Dr. Charles Hankins, neonatologist on babies' service at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, said the babies are all different weights and are all thriving, adding that four of the babies will be taken off nutrition tubes today, transitioning to full breast milk.
"Five of the six babies are following an accelerated path (for their age)," Dr. Hankins said. "Leah is catching up."
"Leah is still a very sick little girl," Lauren said. "She is struggling with setbacks, but she's a fighter. ... She is doing well for being so little."
The Perkins thanked everyone for their support, and said they're appreciative of the prayers they're receiving from around the world. Their friends, family and church members have been assisting the family, in helping to prepare the home, providing meals and transporting Lauren to medical appointments.
The new parents added that they've been able to hold five of their six children, and nurses have had them practicing diaper changes and other routine care.
"We're thanking God every day for our babies and we're looking forward to bringing them home," Lauren said.
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