Sextuplets born at Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women
A Houston woman has given birth to sextuplets. The six births occurred at the new Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women Monday morning. Hospital officials said three boys and three girls, weighing between 1-pound, 10-ounces and 2 pounds, 15-ounces, were born at 10:26 a.m.
The sextuplets were conceived using intra-uterine insemination with ovulatory stimulating drugs. The mother, Lauren Perkins, gave birth to the babies at 30 weeks and 1 day gestation.
She and her husband, David, kept an extensive blog detailing her pregnancy. After trying to get pregnant for a year-and-a half, she underwent fertility treatment.
"There was a 25% chance the procedure would work at all, and if it worked, a 25% chance of twins. The odds went down from there on multiples, with a 1% chance of sextuplets," David Perkins wrote.
"After "the 2 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. We knew something was up when we saw the doctor's jaw drop... he had seen 6 babies! Since we found out, Lauren has been going for ultrasounds at least every 2 weeks and so far all the babies are developing at a normal rate. Our feelings range from excited, overwhelmed, and scared — all at the same time. We are completely trusting God throughout this adventure and we appreciate all the prayers and support from our family and friends!!"
Since 1989, there has been an average of 1.125 sets of sextuplets born in the United States each year.
In such high risk multiple pregnancies as a result of fertility drugs, doctors often recommend "selective reduction," in which a number of fetuses are aborted to increase the chances that the others will survive and lead healthy lives and to protect the mother's health.
On her blog, Lauren Perkins wrote that it was the hardest decision she and her husband had to make "and I don't wish it on anyone."
"As a school psychologist, I work with special needs kids and make decisions based on data; I've seen kids who have severe developmental disabilities due to premature birth, in addition to a whole variety of disabilities. Raising one child with these conditions is difficult, but 6? It was too much to fathom."
She and her husband ultimately decided "we had to go for all 6 and trust God with my health and my babies."
"We absolutely do not regret our decision, but I do not judge anyone who does choose to reduce. It's a tough decision and I don't know anyone else's circumstances. I do know that God has had His hand in our lives throughout this pregnancy!"
The parents are not releasing the names of the babies at this time. Both mom and infants are stable in the Texas Children’s Pavilion neonatal intensive care unit.