Four months after Lauren and Dave Perkins became the parents of sextuplets, daughter Leah, the most frail, has been cleared by doctors to go home and join her brothers and sisters. NBC's Janet Shamlian reports.
After four nerve-wracking months, on Monday Lauren and Dave Perkins finally got to bring the last of their “six-pack” home from the hospital. The sextuplets were born 10 weeks premature in April and were all initially cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women.
One by one the six-pack came home. But, for Leah, the littlest one, it was touch and go for a long time. When Lauren and Dave were told they could bring Leah home, they heaved a big sigh of relief.
“It makes me a little nervous,” Lauren told TODAY’s Janet Shamlian. “But we’re excited just to not have to split time between the hospital and home – and just having everyone together.”
The Perkinses weren’t looking to create such a big family in one shot. They’d sought out the help of a fertility specialist after trying to get pregnant for a year and a half. Lauren was given fertility drugs and doctors inseminated her with David’s sperm. Dave has described the process on their blog.
“That involved two weeks of shots and a couple turkey bastings,” he wrote. “There was a 25 percent chance the procedure would work at all, and if it worked, a 25 percent chance of twins. The odds went down from there on multiples, with a 1 percent chance of sextuplets. 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!”
The Perkinses were offered the option of selectively reducing the pregnancy to make it safer for both Lauren and the babies, but the couple rejected the suggestion.
When the babies were born some 35 doctors and nurses were on hand, a separate team for each baby. While five of the babies seemed very healthy, albeit 10 weeks early, little Leah was at times very ill. But Leah turned out to be a fighter.
The Perkinses brought the other five babies to the hospital when it was time to pick up the last member of the six-pack. It took two cars, three hours, four helpers – and a huge stroller – to get Benjamin, Allison, Levi, Andrew, and Caroline to the hospital to greet their sister.
“We’re truly humbled that we are bringing home six,” Dave told Shamlian. “We know it could have been a completely different path. We’re grateful.
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