Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Masche sextuplet update

MSNBC has an on-line article and a 7 minute video update about the Masche family on their web site. It gives more information about Jenny's medical problems and some fascinating footage of the babies and the equipment still in use.

Watch the tops go up on the special intensive care beds being used for some of the babies. Unless you're driving a luxury car, you paid less for it than the sticker price on just one of those beds. They're worth it, though. They save lives. You can maintain a precise level of humidity to protect fragile skin in a micropremie. As demonstrated, you can raise the top for instant access if you need to perform a procedure -- and it converts automatically to radiant warmer mode, so the baby won't get cold while you're working. There are many more features that make life easier for baby, parents, and - of course - NICU staff.

According to the article, some of the babies' nutrition is coming from breast milk banks. We've had a few moms of multiples who could pump enough breastmilk for them - and, we joked, the rest of the unit. That's uncommon with higher order multiples, especially when mom is seriously ill in the immediate postpartum period. Formula is also being used - and will doubtless be a necessity in the future as well.

The neonatologist mentions an "unexpected complication" with one of the babies which will require surgery before discharge, but doesn't elaborate. Overall, mom and babies look really good. It's going to be a long road over the coming years, but the family seems to have lots of support from their extended families and their church.

I'm happy for them and I wish them well. I hope that the 2 additional sets of sextuplets expected to deliver later this summer will be so fortunate. These higher order multiples, even with good outcomes for mom and baby, are considered a failure in infertility treatment, though. The goal is always one healthy baby. Selective reduction isn't the answer either. It's a choice no one should have to make. What is needed is more research and optimum management of infertility treatment.

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