There are three boys and three girls, all born by C-section at 30 weeks.
Dr. Charles Hankins says five of the six babies are doing really well for being 10 weeks premature – although the sickest girl, Leah, remains on a ventilator and is recovering from colon surgery.
“We have Andrew, Benjamin, Caroline, Leah, Levi, and I’m missing one!”
That one would be Allison.
Hankins says he expects the babies to remain hospitalized for at least two more months.
These are the first children for the Perkins. David is 29 and works as an IT analyst for an energy company. Lauren is 28 and worked as a school psychologist with special needs students, though now she plans to stay home.
David says he was surprised by the global attention:
“We’re just an ordinary couple entrusted by God with an extraordinary responsibility and an extraordinary blessing. I would say the emotion that we feel more than any other is gratitude. I’m thankful that Lauren was healthy going into this pregnancy, she’s a big runner, runs 40-50 miles a week, we think that contributed – was! — we know that contributed to her ability to keep the babies as long as they needed to be in there. Our original goal was to keep them in there for at least 28 weeks, and she make it to 30 weeks and one day.”
The couple conceived during their first attempt using ovulation drugs and intrauterine insemination. They knew this could increase the chance of having multiples but did not expect six.
“We were shocked. Really we just stared at the ultrasound screen.”
Lauren says it was a tough to decide whether or not to selectively reduce the number of fetuses.
“Just between the medical statistics and your emotional side where you’ve seen the six heart beats and there’s no problems with any of them or there’s problems with my health. And just really what ultimately led us to decide was just our faith. And that we would put trust in God and that he would lead us through a pregnancy and keep all of us healthy.”
David says the New Hope Church in Manvel also provided support:
“Our church pastor said ‘Don’t make the decision based on fear of lack of provisions, we’ve got your back we’re going to help you get you what you need.’ So that really helped hearing that as well.”
David says family and friends have been helping set up their home and donating hand-me-downs.
“Initially we’ll just have one room for all six. So we have three cribs and we’ll put two kids per crib. And then once they grow up we’ll just expand to two rooms and put three boys in one and three girls in another, so we’ll just learn how to adapt. We can’t prepare for anything, we’re preparing as best we can.”
Sextuplets are quite rare; there are only thought to be 180 surviving sets worldwide.
From the KUHF Health and Science Desk, I’m Carrie Feibel.