Congratulations mom, on the birth of your eight beautiful children! Being the resident obstetrician here at FOX News, my staff has been asking me all day today "Oh, Dr. Manny did you hear about the lady who had octuplets in California? Isn't that amazing?"
And yet, despite the fact that I'm very happy for these parents, and I'm very proud of the physicians and nurses that took care of this patient, I also realize that this was a very high-risk pregnancy that could have easily ended up with significant problems. That's the topic I want to talk about.
Many times we tend to focus on these medical miracles, and we often do not realize all the potential complications that could arise when facing challenging clinical scenarios.
Take, for instance, the story that we did a couple of years ago about the woman who had twins at the age of 60 -- after that story ran, I started getting phone calls from women all over the world, asking how they too could have children after the age of 55.
I assisted in that delivery, and what many people don't know is that that there were many issues we had to deal with having a patient over the age of 60 delivering twins. The same thing is true for anybody that has a multiple pregnancy because a woman's womb was generally made to birth only one child at a time. When we artificially enhance that number by 3, 4, 5 or 6, we are playing Russian roulette.
The most common complication for multiple pregnancies is prematurity. A premature infant has a significant risk of developmental delays, visual problems and hearing problems.
There are also a number of maternal complications that can arise from multiple pregnancies like high blood pressure, diabetes and significant post-partum bleeding.
So the take-away is this_ Medicine has a beginning and an end. But somehow, many people tend to forget the middle part - and that is the part that must be clearly understood by the patient and physician for the miracle to take place.