HOUSTON, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Leah Perkins, the final sextuplet and also the smallest, made a special homecoming late yesterday afternoon as she was discharged from Texas Children's Pavilion for Women after a 4 ½ month stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Parents Lauren and David Perkins took Leah home to join her five brothers and sisters. The hospital also announced that doctors delivered its first quintuplets of the year on Friday, Sept. 7 at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, one of the nation's premier facilities for women's, fetal and newborn health, with a special focus on high-risk births and multiples.
"We are so excited to finally have all of our children under the same roof. It has definitely been a challenge having to manage our family in two places but we look forward to Leah's homecoming," said Lauren Perkins of Pearland, TX. "We are very thankful for all of our nurses and physicians at the Pavilion for Women who cared for me throughout my pregnancy, delivered our babies safely and cared for them during their time in the NICU."
The hospital celebrated the discharge of the final sextuplet by hosting a send-off celebration that included all those who played a part in caring for the babies during their time in the NICU at the Pavilion for Women. The Perkins brought all of the babies to the hospital to be reunited with Leah and to show them off to the staff. The Perkins also posed for their first professional picture as a family of eight.
The sextuplets, Andrew Noah, Benjamin Luke, Levi Thomas, Allison Kate, Caroline Grace and Leah Michelle, weighed between 1 pound 10 ounces and 2 pounds 15 ounces at birth and today weigh between 8 lb 3 oz to 13 lb 5 oz. They are all doing well at home and growing as expected for babies born at 30 weeks gestation. The NICU stays for the sextuplets ranged from a 5 ½ weeks for Benjamin and Caroline who came home first to 4 ½ months for Leah whose digestive issues required two surgeries during her time at the hospital.
"Things have been crazy at home, but I feel like I have the babies on a good, manageable schedule. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such a generous community of people that have reached out to us to volunteer their help. I can't tell you how much we appreciate all of the extra hands at feeding times, bath times and in the middle of the night. This is a full time job but we are so blessed that we were chosen to take on this responsibility," adds Lauren.
Quintuplets delivered at Pavilion for Women
As the Perkins came to the hospital last week to work out the final details for Leah's release, the hospital was preparing to deliver quintuplets. Sarah and Bruce Plauche', natives of Lake Charles, LA, delivered three boys and two girls on Friday, Sept. 7 at 28 weeks 1 day gestation. Sarah Plauche' was on bed rest at the Texas Children's Pavilion for Women for three weeks before delivering quintuplets weighing between 2 lbs 4 ounces and 2 lbs 9 ounces. The babies, Owen Parker, Tessa Quinn, Reece William, Miles Shepherd and Corinne Elise (in birth order) were born at 3:26 p.m. and all of the babies were delivered within four minutes. Like with the sextuplets, there were multiple care teams who had practiced through simulations to prepare for the birth. All of the babies were taken to the NICU at the Pavilion for Women and are currently all off of ventilators and are being supported through CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure).
The Plauche' quintuplets are the first ever-recorded quintuplets in Lake Charles and the first set in Houston this year. The latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows 80 quintuplets or higher-order multiple births in 2009. The CDC does not have birth statistics for 2012.
"The Plauche' quintuplets are all critical but stable and doing really well, especially for babies born at 28 weeks," according to Dr. Stephen Welty, chief of neonatology at Texas Children's Hospital and head of newborn section, Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "A crucial aspect of achieving the best outcomes for our patients is to conduct simulations to prepare for the births of high-order multiples. The good news is that the doctors and nurses at the Pavilion for Women have been delivering and caring for premature and critically-ill babies for more than 50 years and complex cases, such as this one, are exactly why the Pavilion for Women was created – to have an experienced team and state-of-the-art facility ready to handle the most high-risk births. We are glad we could be here for the Plauche' family."
Dr. Robert Carpenter, OB/GYN physician at the Pavilion for Women, not only managed the Perkins' sextuplet pregnancy but also managed the Plauche' quintuplet pregnancy. "This pregnancy was very similar to the sextuplet pregnancy and I monitored Sarah closely here and in collaborative care with her primary OB/GYN, Dr. David McAlpine, in Lake Charles. Our goal was to get Sarah to at least 28 weeks gestation where the risk of major problems with intracranial hemorrhage, respiratory distress and chronic lung disease, necrotizing enterocolitis and neonatal infections are substantially decreased. She was able to do that with close monitoring, lots of rest and significant stress reduction." said Carpenter, a maternal fetal medicine specialist.
Carpenter explained that he has managed many high-order multiple pregnancies and that one of the main issues he sees with these pregnancies is dilation of the cervix and that placing a cervical cerclage or stitching the cervix closed to hold the babies in is an important factor in getting the pregnancy so far, something he truly believes should be mandatory for anyone carrying four babies or more. At 25 weeks gestation, Carpenter was informed by Dr. McAlpine that Sarah was going into pre-term labor and that her cervix was shortening so he felt it would be best to bring her from Lake Charles and monitor her at the Pavilion for Women after significant initial therapy was commenced by Dr. McAlpine The parents will be staying in Houston until they are able to bring all five babies home to Lake Charles.
Situated in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, the 15-story Texas Children's Pavilion for Women is designed to care for a woman throughout her life and offers a full range of obstetrical and gynecological services, beginning before conception and continuing after delivery. The Pavilion is one of the few hospitals worldwide to offer a full spectrum of maternal and fetal medicine services including an array of fetal diagnostic procedures and highly specialized fetal surgeries for a number of congenital malformations. Level II and Level III NICU care is provided in 32 private rooms, four of which are specifically designed to accommodate multiples. Texas Children's Hospital ranks #2 nationally in neonatology among the nation's best pediatric institutions by U.S.News & World Report. A two-story circular sky bridge connects the Pavilion to Texas Children's West Tower and Clinical Care facilities, enhancing patient care by providing physicians, staff and patient families with rapid access to all patient care facilities.
For more information on Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, visit women.texaschildrens.org.
About Texas Children's Hospital
Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to creating a community of healthy children through excellence in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation, Texas Children's has recognized Centers of Excellence in multiple pediatric subspecialties including the Cancer and Heart Centers, and operates the largest primary pediatric care network in the country. Texas Children's recently completed a $1.5 billion expansion, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; and Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston. For more information on Texas Children's, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children's by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.
SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital