Sextuplets shock parents and doctors anticipating 5
A 29-year-old Polish mother who gave birth to sextuplets has been able to leave her hospital bed and visit her babies in another ward, where the infants are said to be doing fine, doctors said Tuesday.
These are Poland's first sextuplets on record, two boys and four girls, were born in the southern city of Krakow on Monday to the surprise of parents and doctors who had expected five babies.
The babies were born prematurely in the 29th week of pregnancy by cesarean section.
Dr. Ryszard Lauterbach, head of clinical neonatology, at the University Hospital said the babies were "born in a condition surprisingly good for sextuplets," but their respiratory, nervous and digestive systems are immature and require medical care.
"Imagine this: we were prepared from early in the morning to help deliver five tiny citizens. So we are in the operating room, there are five teams of doctors ready to take care of five children," Dr. Lauterbach at the University Hospital in Krakow said.
"They are being delivered one after another until all five places were occupied. And then all of a sudden it turns out there's another one waiting in there."
Slight change of plans
The sextuplets were a surprise to the family — their mother, Klaudia Marzec, said on TVN24 the family was not expecting six but five babies.
"We have made some logistical plans at home for five, but now they will need to be changed," Marzec said. "Now we just want them to leave hospital in the best condition possible."
They were conceived naturally, the hospital said. The couple have a 2 1/2-year-old son.
The babies, whose individual birth weights ranged from 890 grams (1.96 pounds) to 1,300 grams (2.86 pounds), are in incubators. Doctors say the little ones can breathe on their own but will likely remain in hospital for around three months.
Hospital director Marcin Jedrychowski called the operation an "extremely difficult" one that involved up to 40 doctors and medical personnel.
The surprise sixth girl had a moment of warm physical contact with her mother before a sixth incubator arrived for her, according to Dr. Lauterbach.
The boys' names are Filip and Tymon and the girls were named Zosia, Kaja, Nela and Malwina.
Their father, Szymon Marzec, said their arrival was a "great joy, but we also have plenty of concerns."
"We are happy that the kids are in the best hands possible, and all that we can give them now is our love and presence near them."
The couple told a news conference at the hospital on Tuesday that they will soon introduce their first son Oliwier, a toddler, to his new siblings.
Only one in about 4.7 billion spontaneous pregnancies leads to sextuplets, the hospital said.