Yes, you heard right. A set of OCTUPLETS (that's eight babies, folks) has been born in Southern California.
A woman has given birth to eight babies at a local hospital just south of Los Angeles. This is only the second time ever that a set of octuplets have been born alive. Dr. Karen Maples told TV station KCAL that the babies were born Monday at Kaiser Permanante in Bellflower and were "doing quite well."
The mother, who asked not to be identified, gave birth to six boys and two girls weighing between 1.8 pounds and 3.4 pounds yesterday starting at 10:43 AM. It took only five minutes to deliver all of the little ones. Two of the preemies were on a respirator last night, but now they are all breathing on their own. Maples said that doctors were hopeful the babies would all survive, but the first 72 hours are always the most critical time. "So we'll have to just pay attention for the next few days," she said. Dr. Maples says they were expecting seven babies, and were shocked to find another one during delivery. "My eyes got to be the size of saucers," she told the LA Times. "We just went on and delivered the babies." Maples said there were 46 people involved in the deliveries.
Dr. Harold Henry told KCAL that "they were all screaming and kicking around very vigorously." The hospital tells us that the babies -- delivered by Caesarian section -- are being called baby A - H until they are named by their parents. "The orchestrated delivery went off without a hitch," said Dr. Henry, adding that doctors and staff practiced two dry runs ahead of time. "We planned well and it was well executed," he said.
The mother will be released from the hospital in two weeks, but the babies will need to be hospitalized for at least the next two months. While there, they will be fed expressed breast milk through a tube. (Yes, that means for now the mother will technically be breast-feeding EIGHT BABIES.) Dr. Maples said the babies are about nine weeks premature. The mother was 30 1/2 weeks into her pregnancy.
In 1998, the first known set of octuplets born in the United States arrived. The six girls and two boys were born in Houston. One of the babies later died. The others survived and recently celebrated their 10th birthdays.