Several years ago I was talking with a friend. He and his wife had two beautiful daughters. One was three years old and the other was just over a year old. I asked if they were planning to have more kids and he said yes - they were going to try one more time for a boy. He said, if they had a boy, great! If not, they would stop with three girls. I wished them luck. About a year later, I found out they had given birth. Guess what they had.
How about TRIPLETS!
Yes, two boys and a girl. That brought the total to 5 kids under the age of 4 years old. They were instantly outgunned and overloaded. A different friend commented: "With one parent and one child or two parents and two or less children, you can play man-to-man defense. Anything other than that, you have to switch to zone coverage and just pray for the best!"
So advance to January 26, 2009 where in Bellflower, California, a single mother of 6 just gave birth to Octuplets. What kind of defense can she play? Can she even be in the game at all? While this has proven to be a remarkable medical procedure, many -including me- are stymied at the logistics of this entire process and the requirements to raise 14 children. For starters, the infants' delivery was performed by a team of 46 doctors, nurses and surgical assistants stationed in four delivery rooms at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in Bellflower, California. Costs for the average delivery of a full-term pregnancy can range from $9,000 to $25,000, depending on whether the baby is delivered by Cesarean section or vaginally. So eight times $25,000 shoots the number up to $200,000. You can guess that the price tag for this delivery far exceeded that number based on the special requirements and the risk conditions associated with a multiple birth. Further, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's new Cost of Raising a Child Calculator, a middle-class family living in the western United States can expect to spend at least $9,171 on a year's worth of housing, food, transportation, clothing, health, education and other expenses for a single child under the age of 1. Quick math yields about $73,000 annually. I could continue with this line of thinking to include diapers, breast milk, and college but you get the picture right? It's an expensive prospect and believe me, it will "Take a Village" to raise these children. I understand many items have already been donated to help out including toys, a lifetime supply of diapers, and breast milk - (imagine that).
As you might expect, the blog world is on fire with all sorts of posts about this event. Surely for it's uniqueness alone. This is only the second time that Octuplets have been born, and all eight have survived, in the United States. There is, however, an additional aura of curiosity associated with this event. Bloggers, experts, journalists, and everyday people are wondering how this all happened. Were there fertility drugs involved? Who is the mother? Where and who is the father? Why would a single mother of six want more children anyway? Perhaps these and the many other questions will be answered in the near future.
For now, here's a report from the doctors.
Babies A through G are here.....
Wait a second! Here comes H! I wonder what they'll name the kids!