Health

After 17 years of trying, this couple had sextuplets

Sextuplet births very rare in US

(CNN) - This birth announcement won't fit on your standard 5x7 greeting card.

Adeboye and Ajibola Taiwo had tried for 17 years to start a family. Now, they're the parents of sextuplets -- three boys and three girls, all in good condition and absolutely adorable.

The babies were delivered by cesarean section at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond last week.

The count

For nearly two decades, Ajibola Taiwo, a native of Western Nigeria, and her husband Adeboye had tried but failed to conceive.

In November, they were elated to hear four heartbeats at their first ultrasound.

At a follow-up appointment in early 2016, the couple found out they were actually expecting sextuplets.

"I was excited," Adeboye Taiwo said. "For the very first time we were expecting."

The risks

Sextuplets are very rare. In 2015, the last year for which data is available, nearly four million babies were born in the US. The number of quintuplets or higher? Only 24.

The highly coordinated effort it takes to deliver sextuplets is massive.

Immediately after the couple learned they will be having six babies, a 40-person team started doing delivery drills and resuscitation exercises to make sure everything went smoothly on the big day.

"A typical labor and delivery shift includes one, perhaps two premature births, usually with time in between. We had to coordinate with our colleagues in the NICU for six premature babies to be delivered simultaneously," said Dr. Susan Lanni, a maternal-fetal specialist at VCU.

The delivery

After 30 weeks of pregnancy, it was time for the babies to see the world.

The siblings were born at 8:26 a.m. on May 11.

Ranging from 1 lb. 10 oz to 2 lb. 15 oz, the three girls and three boys are all doing well.


"This is an amazing medical accomplishment that would not be possible without the outstanding coordination of our obstetrics and neonatal teams," said Dr. Russell Moores, medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Ajibola Taiwo was discharged from the hospital a week later, while the babies remain in good condition in the NICU.

"I hope for the smallest of my six children to grow up and say, 'I was so small, and look at me now,'" she said.


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