California octuplets' mom says she's "ecstatic"

Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:43pm EST
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By Dan Whitcomb and Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The California woman who astonished doctors this week by giving birth to octuplets said on Thursday she was "ecstatic about all of their arrivals" but declined to address media reports that she already has six other children.

The prepared statement read by doctors at a news conference marked the first public comment from the unidentified woman since her premature infants, six boys and two girls, were delivered by Caesarean section on Monday.

Their arrival, ranking as only the second set of octuplets known to have survived birth in the United States, surprised doctors who had seen only seven babies in ultrasound images.

Officials at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower have declined to identify the mother or reveal if she received fertility treatments, which can increase the likelihood of multiple births.

The mother herself shed no light on those questions, appealing instead for respect of family's privacy, and neither she nor her doctors commented on reports that she already has several children.

There are no known cases of naturally conceived octuplets.

"Please know in our time we will share additional details about this miraculous experience," she wrote. "My family and I are ecstatic about all of their arrivals."

The mother did reveal that she came to Kaiser after becoming pregnant, and Dr. Harold Henry said she was in her first trimester of pregnancy when Kaiser took over her case "from an outside provider."   Continued...

<p>Doctor Karen Maples (4th R) , Chief of Service, Obstetrics and Gynecology, speaks during a news conference about the conditions of the octuplets in Bellflower, California January 27, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>