Premature quintuplets born this week in North Texas are doing “remarkably well,” their doctor said Thursday.
Dr. Vijay Nama, director of neonatology at the Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, said during a news conference that the four girls and one boy were breathing on their own after birth, and although four were later put on machines to help their breathing, all are expected to be off the machines soon. He expects the babies to remain in the hospital for six to seven weeks.
“Overall, they’ve done remarkably well. They’re premature and they’re quintuplets, but they’ve done pretty good,” he said.
Their mother, Michelle Seals, delivered the babies Tuesday at 29 weeks, which is about eight weeks early. Mia weighed 2 pounds 10 ounces, Tessa 2 pounds 14 ounces, Gracie 2 pounds 7 ounces, Rayleigh 2 pounds 8 ounces, and Brant 3 pounds 6 ounces.
Seals said she had a history of miscarriages, so she had been taking fertility medication. She and her husband, Steven, who live in the small town of Maud about 150 miles northeast of Dallas with their 2-year-old son, knew early on that she was pregnant with multiples.
"I was thinking multiples meant twins. There at the beginning we’d go back every week and they’d find a few more,” she said. “We were shocked.”
The first-grade teacher said she fought morning sickness for about 14 weeks and made it to Christmas break before going on bed rest at home. By the end of January, the 33-year-old mother was admitted to Baylor.
“I’m happy that we got as far as we did,” said Steven Seals, 32.
The new mother said she and her husband will need the help of family and friends when they return home. But she is looking forward to finally being able to hold her babies and bring them home.
“They are so precious. They are tiny and I just love it. I thought I’d be scared because of all the machines and tubes, but I just love it,” she said, adding: “I want to hold them so bad.”
Dr. Anil Pinto, a fertility specialist at Baylor who did not treat Seals, said one of the medications Seals took increases risk of multiples by around 6 to 7 percent.
He said the other medication she was taking increases the risk of multiples by around 15 percent, but that 95 percent of those multiples are twins.
The couple said they’re likely finished having children.
“Half a dozen is plenty for us,” Michelle Seals said.