The last of a set of sextuplets born in April has been released from hospital, much to the delight of her parents
Lauren and David Perkins, from Pearland, Texas, took baby Leah home yesterday, where she joined her three brothers Benjamin, Levi and Andrew, and sisters Allison and Caroline.
Texas Children's Hospital hosted a send-off party for the reunited family, where the four-and-a-half-month-old babies were snapped together in their first joint photo.
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Reunited: Sextuplets (from left) Benjamin, Allison, Levi, Leah, Andrew and Caroline, were snapped together in their first joint photo yesterday, after the last of them was released from Texas Children's Hospital
The youngsters were all on their best behaviour. In fact, two were so unfazed by the attention, they slept through the whole thing.
Tiny Leah, in particular, was the picture of health, having had the toughest battle among the siblings.
She suffered serious digestive problems and had three major intestinal surgeries and was fed via tube during her stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Getting to grips with motherhood: Mrs Perkins says she has managed to get the babies into a routine
Mrs Perkins told the Houston Chronicle that she was thrilled to have all her babies at home.
'Things have been crazy at home, but I feel like I have the babies on a good, manageable schedule'
'We are so excited to finally have all of our children under the same roof,' she said.
'It has definitely been a challenge having to manage our family in two places but we look forward to Leah's homecoming.
Mrs Perkins admits that life has been a challenge since the babies were born, but is getting to grips with new motherhood.
Almost all together! The couple share a snap of five of the six babies, not long before Leah's arrival home
'Things have been crazy at home, but I feel like I have the babies on a good, manageable schedule,' she revealed.
'I am so blessed to be surrounded by such a generous community of people that have reached out to us to volunteer their help. I can't tell you how much we appreciate all of the extra hands at feeding times, bath times and in the middle of the night.
'This is a full time job but we are so blessed that we were chosen to take on this responsibility.'
Mother: Lauren Perkins said the four-minute delivery of her six sextuplets was normal and she is slowly but surely on the mend
The Perkins sextuplets: Andrew, Ben, Levi, Allison, Caroline, and Leah are all tiny but progressing with Leah the only one who still needs a ventilator
'We are very thankful for all of our nurses and physicians at the Pavilion for Women who cared for me throughout my pregnancy, delivered our babies safely and cared for them during their time in the NICU.'
Indeed, with a team of 35 doctors on standby, the birth of the Perkins sextuplets at 30 weeks was anything but normal.
The three boys and three girls arrived in just four minutes thanks to a caesarian section birth.
Mrs Perkins, however, described her pregnancy as 'easy' in an interview with MSNBC
shortly after the birth.
shortly after the birth.
Experts: 35 doctors were on board to help deliver the sextuplet at the Texas Children's Hospital, one team for each baby
Speaking about the delivery, where a team of specialists were on hand for each baby, she said: 'They said "baby A is out". I'm like, oh, we're starting. And they came out within four minutes of each other - total four minutes all six were out.'
Mr Perkins added: 'My heart was beating like crazy. And the first thing I noticed when I walked in and saw Lauren was that she was shaking like crazy. I did not know that that was perfectly normal.'
Mom: Lauren Perkins gave birth to sextuplets prematurely at 30 weeks after an 'easy' pregnancy
The largest of the babies was just two pounds 15 ounces. The smallest one pounds ten ounces.
Five of the sextuplets were doing well and breathing on their own but baby Leah was put on a ventilator and underwent surgery shortly after birth.
Her parents are confident she will make it. Mr Perkins said: 'I don't think that we'd be taken this far just to have someone not go home with us. We're very confident in that.'
The Perkins tried for 18 months to get pregnant before turning to fertility treatment IUI. The doctors told them an option was selective reduction - meaning they could abort some of the babies in order to increase the chances of survival for the others.
But for the couple, this was just not an option.
Mrs Perkins said: 'Seeing your six babies and seeing their heartbeats and there's no sign of any problems, so you know, how do you choose?'
Shortly after the birth she posted on her blog: 'What a week! In the NICU, things change hourly so we're constantly getting updates. We're concentrating on their general health and progress.
'Our news has spread faster than expected, but we really appreciate all the prayers and support. Please continue to pray for the babies' health!'
Proud dad: David Perkins said holding the babies for the first time was amazing and that selective reduction was never an option
Miracle: Five of the sextuplets are doing well and breathing on their own but baby Leah is still on a ventilator and has already underwent surgery but is coming through it well
Care: Lauren helps a nurse put one of her six children in a blanket at the hospital where they will remain for several months
About the delivery she wrote: 'The delivery went very smoothly with approximately 35 people in the operating room.
'Each baby was immediately handed over to their own team and once they were cleaned up, the team brought each baby over for Dave and I to see.'
A statement on their site from the beginning of the pregnancy explained how Mrs Perkins came to be expecting sextuplets.
Her husband wrote: 'That involved two weeks of shots and a couple of turkey bastings.
'There was a 25per cent chance the procedure would work at all, and if it worked, a 25 per cent chance of twins.
Baby bump: All babies weighed between 1lb 10oz and 2lbs 15 oz after being conceived using intra-uterine insemination with ovulatory stimulating drugs
'The odds went down from there on multiples, with a one per cent chance of sextuplets.
'After the two-week wait we found out Lauren was indeed pregnant, but with really high hormone levels, so an ultrasound was recommended to see what was going on.
'We knew something was up when we saw the doctor's jaw drop... he had seen six babies! Our feelings range from excited, overwhelmed, and scared, all at the same time.
'We are completely trusting God throughout this adventure and we appreciate all the prayers and support from our family and friends!!'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2205250/Sextuplets-reunited-photo-babies-sent-home-hospital.html#ixzz26sC9rzQw