The latest set of septuplets born last week, in Washington, DC, are doing well while their parents avoid the media spotlight. Two of the nurses who help care for the mother and her five new sons and two new daughters talked with the Early Show about their condition.
Lynette Philip is the nurse manager of labor and delivery and Dana Adamson is the nurse manager of neonatal intensive care.
How is the mother of the septuplets doing?
Lynette, who is in the most constant contact with the mother, says that she is doing very well physically. She is up and walking and is recovering as they had hoped. In terms of her emotional state, Lynette says that she is very hopeful when she talks about her babies and that "she has a smile on her face that only a mother could have."
She adds that when the mother checked into the hospital back at the end of June, Lynette was struck by her calmness: She was very serene. Lynette says that even as the days wore on, the mother remained extremely calm. She seemed to have a "real sense of faith," says Lynette, who adds that the mother has prayed four to five times daily throughout her stay.
Contrary to early reports, the mother was not released today and probably will remain in the hospital for a few more days. Lynette says that things are on a "wait and see" basis and that they are being extremely cautious: They don't want to send her home and then have to bring her back later.
While in the hospital the mother is visiting the babies as much as possible--holding their hands and talking to them. She has held all but one of them (the one who remains on a respirator full-time).
How has the father held up?
Lynette and Dana say that he has been very supportive and very protective of both his wife and children. They say that he has essentially put his life on hold at the moment in order to care for his them. While he has mentioned the two children he and his wife lost, he seems optimistic about the fate of these seven.
He has not brought the babies' older brother to visit them as of yet.
How are the babies?
Dana, who supervises all of the nurses who care directly for the babies, says that they are progressing well. She is quick to point out that with any baby born this early and this small, things are monitored on a day-to-day basis.
At the moment they are sleeping a lot, though one boy is described as a real "spitfire." Lynette and Dana say that he is very vocal about what he does and does not like!
While it is impossible to predict exactly when the babies will go home, the estimate is about 2 months. The nurses say that the criteria they use include that the baby maintain his/her temperature in an open crib, is feeding well, and is gaining weight.
Were the nurses surprised at how healthy the babies were at birth?
On the big night, Lynette was in the delivery room when the baby was born, and Dana was coordinating movinthe babies in the nursery. They say that while they had a sense of how big the babies would be when they were delivered, they were excited that they all appeared so healthy and full of life as they were taken from the delivery room to the nursery. Each baby was crying, which they say was a great sign!
How is the staff holding up?
According to Dana, the mood is pretty much business as usual--now that this long anticipated event has occurred. Lynette adds that this event was "just another day--with a couple more babies!"
They both believe that it was the immense planning and dedication of the staff that has made everything run so smoothly.
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