After struggling to conceive for 17 years, a couple in Virginia welcomed sextuplets into their family with the help of a 40-person medical team. Ajibola Taiwo, whose age was not disclosed, gave birth to three girls and three boys at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center on May 11.
The babies, who ranged in weight from 1 pound, 10 ounces, to 2 pounds, 15 ounces, are reportedly thriving at Children’s Hospital of Richmond’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Taiwo and her husband, Adeboye Taiwo, who are from Nigeria, were overcome with joy when they saw four heartbeats at a November ultrasound. In January, doctors at VCU Medical Center informed the parents-to-be that there were actually two more.
“I was excited,” Adeboye said. “For the very first time, we were expecting.”
It is not clear if the sextuplets were conceived with the help of in vitro fertilization, but a pregnancy that size is rare in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), of the nearly 4 million live births in the U.S. in 2015, only 24 were quintuplets or other higher-order births.
“We’re going through this extraordinary journey together with the family,” Ronald Ramus, M.D., director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at VCU Medical Center, told the hospital blog. “It’s not every day that parents bring home sextuplets. Mrs. Taiwo was eating, sleeping and breathing for seven. A lot of the support and encouragement we gave her to make it as far as she did was important, and one of the biggest contributions we made as a team.”
Taiwo gave birth via C-section at 30 weeks, two days gestation. She was discharged on May 18 and the couple helps to care for their children 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,’” said Taiwo, according to a hospital blog post. “I want my kids [to] come back to VCU to study and learn to care for others with the same people who cared for me and my family.