ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Karoline and Ben Byler knew they might get twins, maybe even triplets, when they started using fertility drugs. They ended up with Florida's first sextuplets.
"It still blows my mind every time I walk in the (neonatal intensive care unit)," Karoline Byler said at a news conference Thursday. "I'm still just wrapping my head around everything. It's been a crazy 13 days."
The five boys and one girl were born Sept. 1, more than two months early. They will likely be at All Children's Hospital until November, said Dr. Fauzia Shakeel, one of 10 physicians caring for them.
Two of the babies, Jackson Robert and Ryan Patrick, were in serious condition, breathing with the aid of ventilators. But the other four — Brady Christopher, Eli Benjamin, Charlie Craig and MacKenzie Margaret — were doing better and listed in fair condition
"We are very happy with the progress of the infants," Shakeel said.
The Bylers, who live an hour's drive away in Wesley Chapel, visit each day. On Wednesday, their 4-year-old daughter, Zoe, held her little brother Charlie.
"She was over the moon excited," said Karoline Byler, 29, a stay-at-home mom. "She just loved it ... She's already asked if they can sleep in her room."
It had been Zoe's hope for a sibling that led the Bylers to try for another child.
The family has been showered with aid, including a generator and a year's supply of ready-made meals and baby formula.
"I really don't know what to expect," said Ben Byler, 30, a bread truck driver. "I am a little scared, a little excited. But I look forward to it. ... I think it's very doable. We have a lot of help lined up."