Lauren Perkins always dreamed of becoming a mom. After spending a tough and disappointing year trying to get pregnant, the thought of ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ wasn’t so scary anymore. She and her husband, David, decided to take a vacation and travel to Nicaragua to figure out the next step. Lauren and her husband traveled together with some friends and she chatted openly about her problems getting pregnant. One of the friends, who was a priest, said calmly: “Someone up there has big plans for you. I don’t know what it is, but it’s going to be big.” That and then it felt strange – but Lauren would soon understand what he meant.
After the trip to Nicaragua, Laura returned home to Texas. Then she didn’t think too much about what the priest had said on the journey. But she and David had decided on something: They wanted to test the ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ ɪɴᴛʀᴀᴜᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ ɪɴsᴇᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ (I.U.I), the simplest method of assisted ꜰᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴢᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. Lauren was convinced it wasn’t going to work… but it did. She finally got pregnant!
At her first routine check-up, Lauren was told by the nurses that her hCG levels were very high. This probably means that there were several children in the ᴡᴏᴍʙ! Lauren and her husband suspected twins or triplets, but the mere fact that they were expecting more than one child was almost too good to be true. After all, they had fought for so long to even get pregnant. Then came their first ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ. The doctor studied the screen for a few seconds and then gave them the sʜᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ new.
The doctor said that he found six babies in there. The confused couple stared at the screen in utter sʜᴏᴄᴋ. The slightly impossible chance of having sextuplets has actually occurred! The couple then found themselves faced with a decision as big as it was sᴇʀɪᴏᴜs. Should they ʀᴇᴅᴜᴄᴇ the number of children, or keep all of them?
The chance that all the babies in the ᴡᴏᴍʙ would survive the pregnancy was very small. Sextuplets are ʀɪsᴋʏ to give birth to. Lauren and David finally decided to give all six children a chance. Their doctor promised to do anything to make it go well and the hospital did everything in its power to avoid ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs associated with the birth.
Monday morning, April 23, was the day! Then Lauren was in week 30, children born before week 37 are termed ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ. A total of 35 people from the hospital got ready in the ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀʏ room. Six nurses were ready to receive all the little lives that were to be born. “I was nervous and excited all at once. It really started to sink in – I was going to have 6 children,” says Lauren.
It took a total of four minutes to ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀ all six babies. Andrew, Benjamin, Caroline, Leah, Allison and Levi all weighed between 400-900 grams. “I expected I wouldn’t be able to see my children until the next day, but all the babies were brought to me, one by one, before being taken to the N.I.C.U. I got to touch all the kids’ little, tiny fingers,” said Lauren. “And that moment, when I got to hold my baby, that’s when I became a mother for real. A mother of six. I guess God had big plans for me after all!” added Lauren.
After many weeks in the ɪɴᴛᴇɴsɪᴠᴇ ᴄᴀʀᴇ ᴜɴɪᴛ and love from all the nurses, the family was able to take home their little treasures. Five of the babies were able to come home when they were 4 months old. Little Leah had to stay in the hospital a few weeks longer, as she was very ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ. “She was literally buried under everyone else in the ᴡᴏᴍʙ,” Lauren says, continuing: “So she didn’t get the right ɴᴜᴛʀɪᴛɪᴏɴ. Her ʙʀᴀɪɴ didn’t fully develop.”
The family has received enormous support from near and dear ones, which has helped them through the most difficult and uncertain period. Donations and other help have poured in, both from family and complete strangers who were touched by the sensational birth. Naturally, Lauren could not fail to thank all the medical personnel afterwards. Without them, the children would not have been able to manage and get home at all.