Parents of sextuplets speak out for first time
HOUSTON -- They're the babies the world wants to see -- the Perkins sextuplets. They were born just last week. Today we saw them for the first time and heard from their parents.
Five of the six babies are doing well. The smallest baby has more medical problems but doctors are optimistic that she will catch up. A 35-person medical team delivered the babies in four minutes. And they ran two simulations, including one in the middle of the night, to ensure the complicated delivery went smoothly.
Mother Lauren Perkins said, "It was definitely a huge shock when we found out there were six in there."
Lauren and David Perkins were hoping for one child when they began infertility treatment, never expecting six.
"A one percent chance, you don't think it's going to happen to you," Lauren said.
Today, the Perkins sextuplets are nine days old and five of them are doing well.
"They're coming off the IV feedings and getting off their breathing support and we couldn't be more excited," Lauren said. "Then Leah, she's coming along, coming along."
Dr Charles Hankins, Texas Children's Hospital Neonatologist, said, "Her lungs were sicker. Your lungs are connected to your heart, so we've had to support the cardiovascular system more intensely and that puts every other organ at risk, so we've had an issue with her intestines."
On Monday little Leah had emergency surgery on her intestines. But they'd worried about Leah the whole pregnancy.
"She had stopped growing," Lauren explained. "We were definitely nervous about her."
Timing the birth was tricky. The healthier five babies needed more time, but Leah needed to be born.
"You don't want to sacrifice five kids and their growth for the sake of one, but they made it 30 weeks and one day and that played a pivotal role in their survivability," David Perkins said.
Lauren was a runner, and she ran 40 to 50 miles a week pre-pregnancy. Her health and the very good prenatal care helped get the babies to 30 weeks.
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.
Lauren and David are already helping care for their babies and they realize how challenging it will be when they all get home.
"We're going to have a volunteer schedule for people that want to help with feedings and things," Lauren said. "We just hope they don't get tired of helping."
The sextuplets are expected to leave the hospital at different times, depending on how healthy they are. Some of the healthier babies may go home in the next month or so.
The three girls and three boys were born last week. They have been named Andrew Noah, Benjamin Luke, Levi Thomas, Allison Kate, Caroline Grace and Leah Michelle. 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.
"We're thanking God every day for our babies and we're looking forward to bringing them home," Lauren said.
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