California Woman Gives Birth to Octuplets!

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An as-yet-unnamed woman in Belleflower, California became mom to eight -- yes, eight -- babies on Monday. The octuplets, six boys and two girls, were born via C-section at Kaiser Permanente hospital, and all are doing well. The newbies weigh anywhere from one pound fifteen ounces to three pounds four ounces. But the really startling part is this: when the mom and her medical team headed into the delivery room for her scheduled C-section, they were only expecting seven babies! Surprise!

The 46 person team who delivered the babies had practiced ahead of time for this, but they were still startled to find that their baby count was off. "My eyes just got to be like saucers," said Dr. Karen Maples as she realized there was an eighth baby to deliver. At press time, five babies were breathing on their own, two were using respirators, and one needed some other kind of assistance breathing.

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This type of birth is, of course, is somewhat unprecedented. The only other American birth of eight children occurred in 1998 in Texas, and one of the babies sadly died right after birth (the other seven children from that birth recently celebrated their tenth birthdays). The California octuplets are the result of fertility drugs, which, according to Dr. Richard Paulson of the USC medical school's fertility program, is more of a "serious complication" than a medical advancement. The drugs were never intended to result in more than two live births. In many cases, expectant parents are advised to reduce the overall number of embryos to two in order to give those a better chance at survive. This mom, apparently, decided to move forward with all eight.

Congrats to the surprised mom and the entire team of medical professionals who safely and soundly delivered her eight babies into the world!

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