Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sextuplets still in the news

The Masche family has been permitting updates and I was pleased to hear that all 6 babies are off their ventilators and breathing room air, according to their dad. That is excellent news. They will doubtless have some challenges, but are well on their way.

The Morrison family has asked for no further news releases and the hospital is honoring that request. Those babies are still in critical condition and I know from experience that there will be a lot of ups and downs for them. I hope they do well. The family doesn't need microphones in their faces while they are dealing with the stress of having 6 tiny babies in the NICU.

There are 2 more sets of sextuplets pending (hat tip to NICU 101 for tracking down the web sites)

The Soldanis - in California - are 16+ weeks now. According to Gracie's blog, they had a scare a couple of days ago, but things are progressing well now. She hopes to stay out of the hospital for a little longer -- and pregnant for at least 12-14 weeks more.

The Bylers live in Florida. Unlike the other parents of this year's crop of sextuplets, they already have one daughter. They're trying to minimize the impact on her and are already seeking advice from other families with multiples. They're hoping to reach 28-30 weeks (mid to late August) before delivering in order to give the babies the best possible chance.

After my first post on the Morrison and Masche sextuplets, I experienced a big jump in readership. Looking at where the new readers came from, I discovered a message board for people who are interested in multiples. It's called Quintland and according to regular posters, the Dilley 6 (now 14 years old) pop in from time to time. There are parents, multiples, and folks who are just curious. In order to discourage lurkers, you have to post several times in the newbie area before being admitted to the rest of the board.

I also found this link with survival statistics at various gestational ages. It's from a South African hospital, but it looks pretty much like the US statistics. They do point out that most babies below 23 weeks aren't resuscitated, due to the low survival rate and poor outcomes. At my hospital, we very seldom resuscitate babies below 23 weeks -- and of the few we've managed to get to the NICU, not one has survived.


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chris and vic said...

I, too, am an NICU RN. I don't understand, but I am open to listening, to those--docs, fertility specialists, OR parents--who think that having 6 babies at one time is a good idea.

The mom of the 30-weekers was in trouble after the birth because she had such a large increase in blood volume to support that pregnancy . . . The kids, even at 30 weeks, are still at risk for developmental delays, learning disabilities, and more.

What would entice someone to take such risks? Please enlighten me.

P.S. I am amazed at your dispassionate observations on the sets of sextuplets, NICU RN-blogger. For myself, all I can see, in my mind's eye is red flags, in exponential multiples of 6!

Judy said...

I don't think I can enlighten you, but I've been thinking about making another post about this -- WAY too long for a comment.

Red flags all along the way. I just don't see any need to make editorial comments. The facts are horrific enough without that.