The couple had struggled for years to have children, and Mrs Carroll had four ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇs before being diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. To have Grant, Mrs Carroll underwent ɪɴᴛʀᴀᴜᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ ɪɴsᴇᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, in which she took fertility drugs to boost her own eggs production before her husband’s sperm was injected directly into her ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs. Heather Carroll, who is just 5’2″ tall, said the tiny babies – five girls and a boy – all ‘look wonderful’. She and her husband Mitchell also revealed they have named the six alphabetically, after the letters doctors gave them when they were still in the womb: Abbie, Brooklyn, Chloe, David, Ellie and Faith. She gave birth to the sextuplets by planned C-Section on Saturday morning, 28 weeks and one day into her pregnancy, after a month of strict bed rest – including her 30th birthday. They arrived in the space of just three minutes, the eldest, Abbie, at 8.05am and the youngest, Faith, at 8.08am, and weighed between 1lb 10oz and 2lbs 5oz.
The babies were welcomed into the world by a team of 51 ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ staff, who had rehearsed the delivery six times before. Each baby had their own group of doctors and nurses. The 30-year-old provoked laughter from the assembled press as she described her 6,000 calorie-a-day diet. She said: ‘It was very hard. They had me keep a sheet of everything I ate, and they would always do the calories for it.
‘And all of the snacks, every day they would start bringing me snack foods and desserts. I mean, it was very good, but I can’t imagine doing that again.’ Mrs Carroll is 115lbs, but she put on an extra 35lbs during her pregnancy, a weight she could barely carry. The week before she gave birth, she said she could feel exactly where each of the babies were sitting: one on each hip, three lower down on her pelvis and another which moved up and ᴅᴏᴡɴ.
Doctors said their chance of survival grew by four per cent every day they stayed in the womb, allowing their organs to develop. In an interview shortly before the babies were born, she described her five-week scan to the Birmingham News. She said: ‘I thought the nurse was going to faint. Then she said, “Oh, no, there’s six,” and started apologizing.’ Once the shock wore off, Mrs Carroll said she just started crying. She said: ‘All I could think about was, “how are we going to take care of six babies?” because we had a hard enough time with our first.! Their close-knit community has already rallied round the couple. Friends have begun extending their log home, local firms have promised to supply diapers and Fᴏʀᴍᴜʟᴀ milk and a car dealership may donate a van.
A month before the babies were born, Mrs Carroll was admitted to Brockwood Medical Center for round-the-clock monitoring. She drank a nutrient-packed milkshake with every meal and was given extra supplements using an IV drip to make sure she consumed enough calories to keep the babies healthy. For the last few days, she was experiencing regular contractions and had to take ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴ to stop the babies coming too soon. Doctors said their chance of survival grew by four per cent every day they stayed in the womb, allowing their organs to develop. In the end, the babies arrived just in time for Father’s Day, and Mr Carroll spent the day rushing from the incubator, sporting five pink ID bands and one blue, to show he could visit the babies. Mrs Carroll is the second woman in the U.S. to give birth to sextuplets this month. Two weeks ago Stacey Carey, from Abington, Pennsylvania, also had six babies.