A 32-year-old Lake Havasu City woman gave birth to sextuplets Monday, the first such successful delivery in Arizona, hospital officials said. Jenny Masche gave birth by Caesarean section at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix to three boys and three girls.
They were almost 10 weeks premature, and all but one weighed less than three pounds.
First Southern Baptist, a Scottsdale church, began a diaper drive for the family in April and collected more than 21,000 diapers. Dr. Jordan Leonard, who is overseeing care of the Masche sextuplets at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, said the sextuplets appear to be in stable condition.
“We’re very pleased with how they’re doing,” Leonard said.
Their tiny lungs are underdeveloped, Leonard said, and five of the six were on ventilators Monday to help them breathe.
“The medications that the mother was on to prevent her labor also has a side effect of making them sleepy,” he said. “So they come out a little sedated.”
Leonard said he expects all of them to be off the breathing machines after a day.
New father Bryan Masche, 29, said in an interview with The Associated Press last week that the couple were terrified when they learned in December they were going to have six babies.
The couple had tried for years to conceive naturally before turning to artificial insemination, he said.
“We’re blessed and excited,” he said. “I keep coming back to the Bible verse that says 'God will never leave or forsake us.’”
The couple had a lot of names to decide on for their babies. They picked: Bailey Elizabeth, Savannah Jane, Molli Grace, Cole Robert, Blake Nickolas, and Grant William.
The chances of spontaneously conceiving sextuplets is one in 4.7 billion, although the odds improve significantly when fertilization treatment is used, said Dr. Helain Landy, the chair of Georgetown University Hospital’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Department.
In addition to artificial insemination, Leonard said Jenny Masche used medication to stimulate her ovulation cycle.
Jenny Masche knew she was going to give birth to the sextuplets early, but doctors tried to wait as long as possible out of concern for the babies’ health. Jenny was given drugs to hold off pre-term labor and was put on a 5,000-calorie-per-day diet.
So far, the babies seem healthy. It’s likely the sextuplets will be able to go home in six to eight weeks, Leonard said.
Once home in Lake Havasu City, they’ll live in a house crowded with diapers and other baby supplies, most donated by members of the community. The Masches’ new brood will sleep two to a bed in three matching cribs.
Right now, their room is so full of donated baby supplies that the door barely opens, Bryan Masche said last week. “We’re still deciding whether to paint the room pink and blue or just pink or blue, or what.”
In February 2006, Stacy Bailey of Surprise, Ariz., gave birth to sextuplets. However, two of the babies died in utero.