Laura and David Perkins knew the potential for multiples existed when Laura underwent intra-uterine insemination. “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,” David Perkins wrote on the couple’s blog.
Two weeks after the procedure, Laura learned it was successful, but her hormone levels were extremely high. At her first ultrasound the Perkins’ learned why, a fact that made their doctor’s jaw drop. Laura was pregnant with sextuplets.
On average, since 1989, only 1.125 sets of sextuplets have been born in the United States each year. Doctors often recommend selective reduction in high-risk multiple pregnancies that are the result of fertility treatments, a procedure that requires the abortion of several fetuses in order to increase the likelihood of survival for the remainder.
Laura, a school psychologist, blogged that while she was familiar with the challenges of raising children who suffer from developmental delays due to premature birth, and could not fathom taking on that challenge with six, she and her husband agreed that she would attempt to carry all six babies to term and “trust God” with her health and the health of the babies.
On Monday, the Perkins family welcomed the sextuplets after 30 weeks and 1 day of gestation at the Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston. The babies weighed between 1 pound, 10 ounces and 2 pounds, 15 ounces. The couple has not yet released the names of their half dozen new additions.
All six babies are currently being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit, but are stable.