Houston mom Thelma Chiaka got quite the Mother’s Day gift this year when she gave birth to her first children – sextuplets! – in March at the Women’s Hospital of Texas.
Having one baby is tough enough, but imagine six all at once.
Nevertheless, the new mom was counting her blessings – quite literally – and keeping things positive throughout both her pregnancy and the early days after delivering her babies.
“I have always looked forward to getting pregnant, so when it came, I embraced it with all the love I have,” Chiaka said.
Chiaka’s sextuplets consist of two sets of twin boys and one set of twin girls and they were conceived without the aid of fertility treatments. That’s quite rare – in fact, the odds are 1 in 4.7 billion!
Not only did the ultrasound come as a surprise but the delivery date did as well. Chiaka was at a routine doctor’s appointment – expecting to go home later that day – when her medical team decided that she needed to deliver the babies right then and there via an emergency C-section.
Because C-sections happen rather quickly, Chiaka ended up delivering all 6 babies in under 9 minutes!
And it took quite a team to manage the delivery.
Dr. Ziad Haidar, a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist at Women’s Hospital of Texas, was in charge of the delivery room and he was thrilled not only to be a part of Chiaka and her husband’s journey but to be the lead on such a dedicated team of nurses as well.
“With the NICU efforts, with the leadership, with the nurses all helping each other. It was great teamwork and I’m very proud to be a part of it,” he said.
Despite being understandably concerned about the reality of raising 6 newborns, Chiaka was in great spirits throughout her pregnancy, said Dr. Haidar:
“Miss Thelma, she was a champion because she kept her smile until the last minute. She had her smile all over the pregnancy and it wasn’t an easy pregnancy on her, but she did wonderful.”
Zuriel, Zina, Kamsi, Kaeto, Kachi, and Kaobi are now all at home, though their release from the NICU unit was staggered. The smallest baby weighed 1 pound, 12 ounces at birth while the largest was 2 pounds 14 ounces.
The first baby was able to go home fairly quickly after Chiaka’s release and the second on Mother’s Day.
“I feel blessed having such beautiful babies. Mother’s Day has been an awesome experience for me,” said Chiaka.
And the family seems to be holding up well:
“I was excited but at the same time nervous of how to take care of six babies. But so far so good,” the new mom told ABC News.
Mom and dad say they are getting a lot of support from family and friends and that the Houston community has really rallied around them. After seeing them on the news, they get plenty of inquiries about how things are going as well as offers of help.
Some sextuplets spent their early days in the limelight as curious viewers watched their parents cope. First, there was “Jon and Kate + 8,” which followed the Gosselin family’s sextuplets and twins on the TLC channel. Then, there was TLC’s “Sweet Home Sextuplets,” which showed just the first few months of Alabama couple Courtney and Eric Waldrop coping with their 6 newborns alongside the three kids they already had.
As for Chiaka and her husband, the first-time parents have stayed well under the radar. We can only assume that the family is doing well and the parents are in need of a nap!
Be sure to scroll down below to see an interview with the new mom and her lead physician from earlier this year.
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