Lauren Perkins has always dreamed of becoming a mom. After spending a difficult year trying and failing to fall pregnant, the idea of fertility treatment didn’t seem so scary anymore. She and her husband David decided to take a vacation to Nicaragua to consider their next step. While there, Lauren talked openly about their struggles to conceive with friends. One of their friends, a priest, replied calmly, “Someone up there has big plans for you. I don’t know what, but it will be big.” At the time, it sounded strange, but Lauren would soon realize the words really carried weight.…CONTINUE READING
Contrary to her belief that she was destined to be barren, Lauren finally fell pregnant using artificial insemination, the simplest method of assisted fertilization. In the first routine check, nurses told her that her hCG levels were very high, indicating a strong possibility of more than one child. Lauren and her husband were delighted at the idea of having twins or even triplets, considering their prolonged struggle to conceive. However, the ultrasound brought a staggering revelation.
A staggered doctor studied the screen and delivered the shocking news quietly, “I count five in there.” Lauren thought it was impossible. But then the doctor continued, “Wait a minute, I just found a sixth baby.” The confused couple stared at the screen in complete shock—six.
Lauren and David were faced with a difficult decision. They could reduce the number of children or keep them all, knowing the chances of all six surviving the pregnancy were low, with a high risk of dangerous complications. After much deliberation, they decided to give all six a fighting chance. Their doctors promised to do everything possible to ensure a safe delivery.
On Monday morning, April 23, 2012, during week 30 of her pregnancy (considered premature before the 37th week), a total of 35 hospital staff gathered in the delivery room. It took a team effort—doctors and six nurses—to receive each baby as they entered the world. In just four minutes, Andrew, Benjamin, Caroline, Leah, Allison, and Levi were born, each weighing between one and two pounds.
“I didn’t expect to see my babies until the next day, but each baby’s team rolled them by me one by one on their way up to the NICU, and I got to touch their little fingers,” Lauren said. For the initial days, the babies weren’t healthy enough to be with their parents.
After many intense weeks of love and care from the neonatal staff, the babies slowly recovered. Five of them were able to go home at four months old, while little Leah, the smallest and struggling for space in the womb, needed a few extra weeks of care due to underdevelopment.
The family received immense support from loved ones and donations from both family and strangers touched by their story. Lauren has high praise for the medical staff involved, without whom the children might not have been strong enough to go home.
Recently, Andrew, Noah, Benjamin, Luke, Caroline, Grace, Leah, Michelle, Alison, Kate, and Levi Thomas celebrated their sixth birthdays. The family has adapted to a newer, more intense way of life, calling it “semi-controlled chaos.” Most of the children are healthy today, but Leah, due to her early struggles, needs ongoing care.
“What an incredible story! What an incredible family! We wish the six children all the very best in the future and look forward to seeing how they’re doing in a few years. Share and like if you think their story is heartwarming.”
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