It was Lauren Perkins dream to become a mother.
The idea of fertility treatment didn’t seem to bad after spending a year trying to get pregnant.
She decided to take a vacation to Nicaragua with her husband David to consider their next step.
Lauren talked openly about their struggles to conceive while she was on vacation.
A priest which is a friend so their offered comforting words: “Someone up there has big plans for you. I don’t know what, but it will be big.”
Lauren soon realized the words really carried some weight.
Lauren returned home to Texas after their trip not thinking much about what the priest had said.
David had decided they wanted to try out artificial insemination one of the simplest methods of assisted fertilization.
Lauren was convinced that she was destined to be barren… but finally, she fell pregnant.
Lauren was told by nurses that her HCG levels were very high in the first routine check.
What this meant is there was a strong possibility there was more than one child inside of her.
The couple was delighted that they may have twins or even triplets, the idea of having more than one was too good to be true.
Then the ultrasound came after studying the screen for a few seconds doctors delivered the shocking news…
The doctor announced: “I count five in there.” Lauren thought this was impossible.
Turning back to the screen the doctor says: “Wait a minute! I just found a sixth baby.”
The couple stared at the screen in complete shock they couldn’t believe it was six!
Lauren and David faced a difficult decision they could either reduce the number of children or keep them all.
The chances of having all six babies to survive were low and there could also be a number of dangerous complications.
Finally, Lauren and David decided to give all six a fighting chance.
Doctors promised to ensure every baby was delivered safely and the hospital made an effort to avoid complications associated with the birth.
The day arrived for them to be delivered on Monday morning, April 23, 2012.
Lauren was in week 30 of her pregnancy – sp they were considered premature.
Inside the delivery ward, a total of 35 people from the hospital gathered.
It wasn’t an easy task as Doctors required the help of six nurses standing by to receive each baby as it came into the world.
“I was nervous and excited all at once. It was starting to sink in that this was for real – I was going to have 6 babies,” Lauren said.
To deliver all six babies it took a total of four minutes.
Andrew, Benjamin, Caroline, Leah, Allison, and Levi all weighed between 1 and 2 pounds at birth.
Lauren said: “I didn’t expect to see my babies until the next day, but each baby’s team rolled them by me one by one on their way up to the NICU, and I got to touch their little fingers.”
The children were in a special care unit for the first few days as they were so small.
Allison was the first baby in a stable enough condition to be held.
The nurses took ten minutes to get all the wires and monitor up so Lauren could hold her.
“And that moment, when I got to hold my baby, was when I became a mother…of sextuplets,” Lauren explained.
The first few weeks were crucial the parents still worried about complications that could potentially lead to disabilities or, in the worst case, death.
The family was finally able to hold all of their angels after many intense weeks of love and care from the staff in the neonatal facility.
At four months old five of the babies were able to go home.
Leah had to remain in the hospital for a few weeks, as she was the smallest and had struggled inside the womb.
“She was literally buried under everybody else in the womb,” said Lauren, “so she didn’t get the right nutritional flow. Her brain was not fully developed.”
The family had support from loved ones, which has helped them get through the hardest and most difficult of times.
Donations from others have also come in, both from family and complete strangers touched by the birth and Lauren’s story.
Lauren, has praised all the medical staff involved, the children may never have been strong enough to go home without their help.
“My doctor was the best and I’m forever grateful to him for the level of care I received,” Lauren says.
“Also, the NICU staff who put in hours upon hours getting our children ready to come home and teaching us the ins and outs of preemie care. So many of these people have a special place in our hearts and family.”
Recently Andrew Noah, Benjamin Luke, Caroline Grace, Leah Michelle, Allison Kate and Levi Thomas celebrated their 6th birthday!
The family has now adapted to a new full-on way of life.
“I call it semi-controlled chaos,” Lauren explains.
“We had to get very scheduled and very structured and organized, especially in the first year.”
Andrew, Benjamin, Levi, Allison, and Caroline – are perfectly healthy today.
Things have been a bit rougher for Leah, as a result of her brain not being fully developed prior to birth.
She will require a lot of care from her parents for a long time to come, however, she has started school along with her siblings.
“She goes to general preschool for children with disabilities. But she always gives 100 percent and laughs all the time. She is our sunshine!” Lauren says.
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