Bellflower, CA - The world’s second-ever octuplets were born Monday at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center, and doctors said the six boys and two girls were doing well.
“Today we had an unprecedented, very exciting day in our operating room and labor delivery where our team of 46 physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists as well as surgical techs delivered eight babies, all live born,” Dr. Karen Maples said. “It was a truly, truly amazing delivery. The babies are currently in stable condition.”
Kaiser spokeswoman Mayra Suarez said the birth began at 10:43 a.m., and the babies range from 1 pound 8 ounces to 3 pounds 4 ounces. She said the mother has asked to remain anonymous.
Doctors said two of the babies, who were delivered by Caesarian section, have had breathing tubes inserted and were on ventilators, and a third needs some additional oxygen. But overall, the infants were crying and kicking and doing well.
The mother was also doing well, doctors said. The mother has asked to remain anonymous and asked officials not to release detailed information about her care — including whether she had been taking fertility drugs.
“The delivery process went very smoothly,” Dr. Harold Henry said. “We practiced several dry runs and the actual delivery process only took about five minutes to deliver all eight babies.”
Maples said the babies were delivered about nine weeks premature, and doctors were only anticipating seven of them.
“In anticipation of seven babies, we made sure we were prepared by doing some drills, some preliminary dry runs to make sure we had everything in place for these seven babies,” Maples said. “But lo and behold, after we got to Baby G, which is what we expected, we were surprised by the discoery of a Baby H, and that was the eighth baby that we delivered.”
Doctors said the first three to seven days are a critical time for such a mass, premature birth, but said the prognosis looked good for all of them. They also said it was not unusual for doctors to have been surprised by the eighth baby.
“It is quite easy to miss a baby when you have seven,” Henry said. “When you’re anticipating seven, it is extremely difficult to perform an ultrasound.”
The first live-born octuplets, six girls and two boys, were born in Houston in 1998. One of the girls died after a week.
The Kaiser Permanente doctors said they were still getting over the surprise of the octuplet birth.
“It was a shock, especially with the eighth baby, my eyes were definitely wide,” Maples said. “… And this patient was incredibly courageous, very strong, did all that we asked to … have an optimal outcome for delivery. She was a marvelous patient.”