Whenever you hear of 6 babies being born at once, the first thing that comes to mind is how expensive it is to care for 6 babies, and how anyone can even cope with 6 babies- let alone 3 other siblings! But what a huge blessing otherwise. That and we think of Jon & Kate plus 8!
A couple in Alabama, Eric and Courtney Waldrop, had fraternal sextuplets on December 11, adding 3 boys and 3 girls into their family. The couple already has 3 older boys, 8-year-old Sailor and 5-year-old twins, Bridge and Wales. Now they have 3 girls to add to the mix, as well as 3 additional brothers for the 3 older boys.
Each baby weighed just under three pounds when they were born. And they were just under 10 weeks early, but thanks to medical advancements, these babies have a great chance of doing well in life later on. Other than them being premature, they were in very good condition. However, for obvious reasons the sextuplets have to spend at least several weeks in the NICU in Hunstville Hospital before they can come home with the parents, and meet their 3 older siblings.
The doctors said that the delivery went smoothly, and all six babies cried at delivery and were stable. About 40 people across several departments in the hospital worked together. They worked during the delivery as well as with one another during the drills and preparation before.
Courtney did well during the pregnancy considering the fact that it was a high-risk one just from the fact that she carried 6 babies, and it is even more incredible that she was able to carry them as far as she did.
The Waldrop couple said that having a big family was something that they always wanted, but they certainly were not expecting to have 9 kids.
From the sounds of it, Courtney and Eric didn’t seem to have problems while attempting to conceive the firstborn, Sailor. However, when they were attempting to try for their next baby, Courtney had suffered multiple miscarriages.
They were dealing with secondary infertility which is infertility experienced after having at least one child. As a result, the couple went onto fertility drugs, and that is how their twins, Bridge and Wales, were conceived.
Then attempting to get pregnant after the twins, Courtney had another miscarriage and ended up going on fertility treatments again- and that is when they conceived the sextuplets.
And pregnant with sextuplets…
Courtney couldn’t get over the shock at first, and it is one of those situations when you really have to pinch yourself to make sure you are not dreaming after being told you are carrying 6 babies.
However, now that they are here, the Waldrop family is thrilled and made a huge announcement on their Facebook page, which has gotten plenty of buzz! Who couldn’t, after all having 6 babies is a huge deal.
Because it was a rare event, the couple decided to give the babies very unusual names – to go along with big sibs Sailor, Bridges & Wales, already unique in their own right.
The boys are named, Blu, Tag, and Layke.
The girls, Rayne, Rawlings, and Rivers.
In fact, the Waldrop sextuplets are the first ones born in Alabama since 2011, as conceiving sextuplets is a rare event as it cannot happen without fertility treatments, and the odds of it happening are 1 in 4.7 billion. As of 2009, there were approximately 160 sextuplet births documented worldwide.
Fertility treatments and multiples
Another couple who are originally from Nigeria in Virginia also had sextuplets in May, as they struggled to conceive for 17 years before going to IVF, and as a result, 6 babies were born.
Getting pregnant with multiples is not unheard of when undergoing fertility treatments, and there are times that there were more babies conceived than 2 or 3 like you see in many cases with conceptions happened as a result of fertility treatments. Many times people are afraid to carry more than 3 babies to term due to potential complications which could harm both the mother and the babies, so they end up having a selective reduction.
However, that is a tough decision for any couple to make in that situation, and in cases like the Waldrops, it is just so risky. However, they ended up with a great outcome considering the situation.
Naturally occurring multiples
Conceiving fraternal twins without the use of fertility drugs happens often enough, and naturally conceived triplets can also happen occasionally. Sometimes in cases like that twins were originally conceived, and one embryo split which created one set of identical twins along with the other embryo creating triplets that were naturally conceived.
However, sometimes one embryo can split even further and create identical triplets or even more.
In fact, in 1934, the first set of living multiples were born, the Dionne quintuplets in Ontario, Canada and they were believed to be identical. They were born 2 months early and were fine for the most part even though they lived lives filled with upheaval because of being quintuplets. Many North Americans were helpful and donated to the Dionne family as they had more kids than the quints, and money was obviously becoming tight.
Most of the girls were healthy, though one of them passed away at 20 due to a seizure. There are 2 living sisters left who are now 83 years old.
The Waldrops’ Christmas blessing
It is quite likely that there will be many generous residents that will help the Waldrops raise those kids by donating items, food, and even money because as mentioned previously, raising children is expensive, and raising 9 children is incredibly expensive. In fact, most people would not be able to afford those many kids alone.
Regardless, it is a huge blessing for the Waldrop family, as they will now have a very full Christmas, and a very busy New Year. They are certainly a sign for people struggling, whether it is with fertility or with something else to not give up. At the right time, you will end up with your wish as long as you keep trying and never give up.