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Octuplets born in Bellflower [UPDATED]

A woman has given birth to octuplets at a Kaiser Permanente hospital in Bellflower, hospital officials confirmed today.

Updated at 5:10 p.m.:  Two physicians who helped in the deliveries said they had planned in advance for the C-section deliveries but were expecting only seven babies. They got six boys and two girls.

“My eyes got to be the size of saucers,” Dr. Karen Maples said, when it became obvious there was an eighth child. “We just went on and delivered the babies.”

“The orchestrated delivery went off without a hitch,” added Dr. Harold Henry. “The babies are all doing well and the mom is also doing well. There were no complications from the surgery, to the best of my knowledge.”

Henry said that hospital physicians and their assistants practiced two dry runs ahead of time.  “We planned well, and it was well executed,” he said.

Maples said 46 people were involved in the deliveries.

“It was exciting, a little anxious,” she said. “But we were prepared.” She said the mother should be released in a week but that the babies would probably remain in the hospital for at least two months.

The six boys and two girls were born between 10:43 a.m. and 10:48 a.m, the doctors said. The babies each weighed between 1 pound and 15 ounces to 3 pounds and 4 ounces, the physicians said.

Updated at 5:50 p.m.: Dr. Richard Paulson, director of the fertility program at the USC Medical School, called the event “unbelievably rare. When people use fertility drugs, 80% even then are single births. The vast majority of the others are twins.”

Still, fertility experts consider the birth of more than two kids with fertility medication to be not a medical triumph, but “a serious complication,” Paulson said. “We do not ever intend to give someone octuplets.”

Usually, he said, births of this kind are brought on by fertility medication, not in-vitro fertilization. Often, during the medication, several of the mother’s eggs are fertilized. In most cases, Paulson said, the mother chooses to reduce the number of fertile eggs to two, “to make sure the two remaining babies will have the best chance at having good health. To have all those babies, the mother would choose to have selective reduction. Apparently the mother made the decision to carry all the eight babies to viability.”

Updated at 7:20 p.m.:

At a Monday evening news conference, the team leaders -- Maples, Henry, and Dr. Mandhir Gupta -- beamed like new parents. “It was a truly, truly amazing delivery,” Maples said. “We have been talking about this delivery for weeks on end. That’s why when we discovered the eighth, we were so well prepared.” The doctors will do predawn interviews today with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” CBS’ “Morning Show,” NBC’s “Today” show and CNN. The doctors said the children, born nine weeks  premature, were in incubators in stable condition, as was their mother. The two girls and six boys weighed between 1 pound, 8 ounces and 3 pounds, 4 ounces. Five of the infants are breathing on their own. One has needed some help breathing, while two are attached to respirators.

KCAL Channel 9 reported that the babies were born today and quoted a doctor as saying they were “doing quite well.”

In 1998, the first known set of octuplets was born in the United States. The six girls and two boys were born in Houston. One of the babies later died. The others survived and recently celebrated their 10th birthdays.

Read the full Times story about the octuplets.

-- Sam Quinones, Jeff Gottlieb and Carlos V. Lozano

Comments () | Archives (184)

While it can be said that ALL live births are to be appreciated as gifts from God, at what point does such a multiple birth cease to be practicable as far as the care and feeding of such a brood? After the excitement and publicity die off, will the need for the care and concerns be any less tasking? With estimates of the average cost of raising just ONE child through high school years approaching $150,000, I hope the proud parents are millionaires.


Omg now the six boys can get marrried with six girls

Congratulations! Prayers heading out for "feeders and growers" and no complications during the NICU stay.

Job well done to Mom!

Mom to 4 year old triplets

Thats what we need. Human litters. What a miracle.

God the creator put in place certain natural obstacles in order to control certain things like population; people unable to have children should rejoice and enjoy those of their friends and other family members. It is not necessary for every person to procreate. When we play with the natural order we get these kinds of problems. How will this family support so many children?

We have created antibiotics and we have killer bacteria. We cut the trees and we have climate issues. When will we learn that we are not quite as smart as we believe?

This is a disgusting story. It is irresponsible to be having that many children, even if they were the richest parents in the world. Adopt 8 if you need that many kids- there are more than enough kids needing adoption. We are overpopulated enough on this Earth and don't need any extra people living American lifestyles consuming most of the world's resources. Replace yourselves if you have to, with 2 kids, maybe 3 if you have to, but 8 is just ridiculous, especially since they are frankenstein babies. Sickening.

thats insane. those parents have NOOOO idea what their in for.
i thought sextuplets were a lot!

I'll be praying for them! No matter your beliefs, these babies deserve a chance.

This is an insult to the planet. Nobody needs eight children, and certainly not all at once. It's an abomination of good science: these techniques were developed so that desperate couples could have a child or two, not eight. Isn't it time we stop breeding indiscriminately? Oh, wait a minute - these are the kids who are going to grow up and pay off our multi-trillion dollar national debt! Have another eight, lady.

It's a beautiful world!

wow they are going to be busy

Wow, that is some amazing stuff dude!


wow thats crazy! an instant family!

i thought this said "woman gives birth to octopus" :(

It a Miracle. I wish then and their parents all the best.

Thank the lord those babies are doing so well!!! It takes a strong person to see this through when you realize there's so many babies comming. This couple couldn't have gone into this wanting or expecting to have so many babies. The people talking at how ungodlike it is to have so many babies, would you rather they "selectively reduce" those babies??

Holy painful birth Batman, that's a LOT of babies!

Why is everyone judging them so harshly? This either they're problem or they're gift. If they wish to have 8 children that is why they live in America. It's they're choice. Who cares if she couldn't have children before? It is not taking away from Gods plans to go on fertility drugs. You cannot possibly know how much they wanted a baby and lucky them they managed to have 8. You cant say if its wrong or right because it's not your problem and its not your life.

OMG.......WOW......8 babbies all at once.....t parents r neva gona hav a minutes peace eva again,....! just think of all t dirty nappys! i wish them all t best of luck & hope all 8 babbies grow big, strong & healthy & are aloud home as soon as possible! x

The fact that this family did not chose to selective reduce during their pregnancy shows they must have a strong faith. No one should be cruel in their comments or judgments to or about this family. God will be with them and while they will not have an easy life they will have a very full life rasing all these children. Couples who turn to fertility treatment do not expect more than one child as the doctors stated in the article. Then need support and prayers not judgment and ugliness.

Proud mom of 4 year old triplets!

OH SHUT UP! Who cares how these babies came to be. In the end they are still humans and therefore deserve a chance. So it wasn't a natural conception. If you wanna talk about religion. god gave us the gift of knowledge and gift to learn, he has therefore already given his blessing to this family.... and what's this about rejoicing if you can't have children? If you want to continue to talk about religion, women were given a gift to reproduce. I mean even rachel after so many years was able to give birth, and so is the case with this woman. god gave this scientist the knowledge to create something so that this woman could bare children. there are so many bad ppl out there. maybe these 8 will make up for all that...god bless them

To those that are saying someone should just rejoice the fact that they are unable to have children, you obviously have never been in that situation of wanting a child so badly and not being able to. I have 2 beautiful children and one on the way, and they are all the product of fertility drugs. We were devistated at the possiblity of never having children. God and medical science made that possible. Good for this family of 10! I'm sure they never intended on having 8 children all at once, but maybe that is God's plan for them. How could someone who wants children so badly decide to do selective reduction? It's just not an option after you get to the point where they were at. I hope those babies will continue to do well and get home safely soon. Congrats momma!!!!

First off congrats to the mom who had to endure that pregnancy. Best of luck and many prayers your way.

I also want to say shame on you people who are not classy enough to keep your harsh words to yourself!!! Just because you would not be able to handle such a thing does not mean that the mother of these children is totally incapable of doing so. Every person and every situation is different and for you to judge this mother's desire to be a mother is rude and down right ignorant. Have you ever had sleepless nights crying out to God or whomever you serve, begging for just one child, one. That's all you want. I myself have been there. I couldn't have children with out a little help from our "new science". This science has given me the greatest gift of all after many long nights of pray. And guess what I am having two at the same time does this make me an abomination to the world of science. God knows everything from start to finish and has given scientist and doctor's the knowledge they have to help other have a family which is biblical sound!

If you are going to judge, judge the scientist and doctors who have not perfected this "science". Do you even know the probability of conceiving one child nonetheless 8. Do you think she didn't know the reproductions of continuing with the pregnancy? She herself could have died! She did what she felt was right for her and her family not you and your family.

You know what about the people out there that have 13 children and are not on welfare, and are certainly not millionaires and do all right by their children, who grow up with more morals than most. I guarantee you if you look in your genealogy you will find a LARGE family who survived and thrived and eventually that large family trickled down to you!

Obviously this raises all kinds of problems and questions -- personal, ethical, and technological. It's easy -- and very true -- to say the world is overpopulated, but wherever women are educated and have choice the birthrate drops. Let women learn and make their own choices. The rate will go down and every birth can truly be a blessing. This new mother of eight is very happy with all her children, so let's share her joy.

The harsh, nasty judgments on this discussion really are shocking. For the relilgious ones: Judge not lest ye be judged!

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