Thursday 19 September 2019

US village keeps mum on septuplets pregnancy

FOR at least four months, the folks of Carlisle had kept a little secret: Their own Bobbi McCaughey was expecting seven babies.But when the pregnancy for the 29-year-old stay-at-home mom entered its 28th week when doctors believed the fetuses had reached a viable stage lips started to loosen in this Des Moines bedroom community of 3,200.

Word leaked to local media on Wednesday and by nightfall the world knew of the pregnancy, a rare event. There are no known living sets of septuplets in the world; the last septuplet birth in the United States was in 1985.

While Mrs McCaughey's due date is not until mid-January, the babies could come at any time before the full gestation period of 40 weeks. She went into the hospital October 15, and husband Kenny said they could be delivered next week.

The parents were not granting interviews yesterday, but Mrs McCaughey issued a statement from the hospital thanking everyone for their concern. ``Right now we are focused on this delivery and spending time as a family,'' she said.

The last set of septuplets born in the United States were to an Orange, California, couple. One was stillborn, three died within 19 days, and the remaining three had medical and developmental problems.

A Saudi Arabian woman gave birth September 22 to seven babies after a 6-month pregnancy, but only one remains alive.

But doctors are encouraged by the progress of the McCaughey fetuses. McCaughey said all are in good condition and each weighs more than 2 pounds.

McCaughey said doctors suggested aborting some of the fetuses early on to improve the others' chances of survival, but the couple ``decided to let God decide the outcome and give all seven an equal chance.''

Mrs McCaughey had been taking the fertility drug Pergonal, which was prescribed because the couple had trouble conceiving their first child, Mikayla, who is nearly 2.

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