It’s unusual enough when a woman gives birth to twins (two babies) or triplets (three babies). This week, a woman living near Los Angeles gave birth to octuplets–that’s 8 babies!
The hospital has not released (told the public) the name of the mother or given any medical information about how the babies were conceived (made). However, doctors say that the chances of a woman having octuplets naturally is infinitesimal (very, very small) and it is very likely that she used fertility treatments (using medical procedures and/or drugs to become pregnant). This, doctors say, calls into question (makes one wonder) whether her doctors used the treatments properly and did so in a way to safeguard (keep safe) the health of the mother–and of course, the babies.
All eight babies are doing well. Two had to be placed on respirators (machines to help a person breathe), but they are now able to breathe on their own. How many babies it’s safe to have at one time is a medical question, but how many you want to have is a personal question.
So, how many babies would you want to have (not necessarily all at one time)? If you already have children, do/did you want more? For you, how many is too many? (As longtime listeners know, Jeff may have a very strong opinion about this last question!)
By the way, here are the terms we use for multiple births:
2 = twins
3 = triplets
4 = quadruplets
5 = quintuplets
6 = sextuplets
7 = septuplets
8 = octuplets
9 = nonuplets
10 = decaplets
And if you have more than 10 babies at one time, you’ll have a lot more to worry about than what to call them!
I read this morning that the mother of the woman who gave birth spoke to the press (newspapers and other media) and told them this: The mother is in her 30’s, is a single mom (is not married), has six other children, and she didn’t intend to have eight other children. When she was pregnant and the doctors told her that she was going to have seven babies (the doctors expected seven, and was surprised by the eighth), she was given the option to end some of the pregnancies. She decided not to do that. It must have been very difficult news to get and a very difficult decision to make, and I wish the best for her, her family, and all of her children.