After 17 years of infertility, couple welcomes sextuplets

Photo: Allen Jones/VCU News
Photo: Allen Jones/VCU News 

Adeboye and Ajibola Taiwo tried for 17 long years to have a child - but little did they know that when parenthood arrived, they would be blessed with six babies all at the same time.

The couple, originally from Nigeria, learnt their wait was over last November when they were told they were expecting four babies. As dad Adeboye told VCU News, "I was excited - for the very first time, we were expecting."

It wasn't until January it was discovered there were six babies, not four.

The large medical team at VCU Medical Centre in Richmond, Virginia, rallied around the family so Ajibola could carry the babies for as long as safely possible. 

"We're going through this extraordinary journey together with the family," said Ronald Ramus, MD, director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. "Mrs Taiwo was eating, sleeping and breathing for seven. A lot of the support and encouragement we gave her to make it as far as she did was important, and one of the biggest contributions we made as a team."

Three boys and three girls were born on May 11, making them an instant family of eight, when all were safely delivered at 30 weeks.

The lightest baby weighed just 737 grams, and the heaviest came in at 1.33kg.

"The medical team is excellent in medicine and hospitality," said Adeboye. "We are far from home but the medical team is our family. That is what got us this far."

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The Taiwos practicing Kangaroo Care with two of their babies. Photo: Allen Jones/VCU
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It was a first for the hospital which is accustomed to a few premature births per shift, and has a level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to cater for "the region's most critically ill and premature babies."

While Ajibola was released from hospital on May 18, the babies remain, with both parents actively involved in their care. The new mum has high hopes for her babies to go into medical or caring professions.

"I hope for the smallest of my six children to grow up and say 'I was so small, and look at me now'," she said. "I want my kids [to] come back to VCU to study and learn to care for others with the same people who cared for me and my family."

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Photo: Allen Jones/VCU