Contribution from NBC Newschannel:
The world's newest sextuplets - that's six babies at once - are doing well at Texas Children's Hospital. Even though they are a state away, they have a special connection to Lake Charles, where mom, Lauren, grew up.
The proud sextuplets' parents are Lauren and David Perkins from the Houston area. Some Southwest Louisiana folks, though, might remember mom as "Lauren Milford." She grew up in Lake Charles until her high school years.
After what Lauren describes as an "easy pregnancy," the couple became the proud parents of a six-pack: three boys and three girls, born in four minutes by C-section. "My heart was beating like crazy," said David, "Lauren was shaking like crazy. I did not expect that. They said that was perfectly normal."
Some 35 doctors, nurses and other specialists were in the delivery room, a team for each baby. "All of a sudden they were like, 'baby a is out,' and I was like, 'oh we're starting.' They came out in like four minutes. Within four minutes, all six were out," she said.
Andrew, Ben, Levi, Allison, Caroline and Leah. The largest was just 2 pounds, 15 ounces.
Five of the Perkins' 6-pack are breathing on their own. Only Leah is still on a ventilator and facing greater challenges. She had surgery last week and came through it well.
After 18 months of trying on their own, Lauren became pregnant with fertility drugs through a process known as IUI. They made a the decision not to selectively reduce. "You see your six babies and heartbeats and there's no sign of problems and how do you choose?" she said.
The babies will remain at Texas Children's for a few months to get over the preemie hurdles. But David says he is sure they will all be thriving in no time. "I don't think we'd be taken this far just to have some of them not go home with us. We're very confident in that," said David.
Even though multiple births are on the rise, sextuplets are still extremely rare.