Heather Carroll is an ᴀᴡFᴜʟʟʏ small wOᴍᴀɴ to Cᴀʀʀʏ six babies. The couple had sᴛʀᴜɢɢʟᴇᴅ for years to have children, and Mrs Carroll had four ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇs before being ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ ᴘᴏʟʏᴄʏsᴛɪᴄ ᴏᴠᴀʀɪᴇs.
To have Grant, Mrs Carroll underwent ɪɴᴛʀᴀᴜᴛᴇʀɪɴᴇ ɪɴsᴇᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ, in which she took Fᴇʀᴛɪʟɪᴛʏ ᴅʀᴜɢs to boost her ᴏᴡɴ ᴇɢɢ production before her husband’s sᴘᴇʀᴍ ᴡᴀs ɪɴᴊᴇᴄᴛᴇᴅ ᴅɪʀᴇᴄᴛʟʏ ɪɴᴛᴏ ʜᴇʀ ᴜᴛᴇʀᴜs.
Heather Carroll, who is just 5’2″ tall, said the tiny babies – five Gɪʀʟs and a Bᴏʏ – 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 Wᴏᴍʙ: Abbie, Brooklyn, Chloe, David, Ellie and Faith.
She gave birth to the sᴇxtuplets by planned Cᴀᴇsᴀʀɪᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ 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 sᴛᴀFF, who had ʀᴇʜᴇᴀʀsᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴅᴇʟɪᴠᴇʀʏ 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 bring 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 Cᴀʀʀʏ. 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 ᴍᴏᴠᴇᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴀɴᴅ ᴅᴏᴡɴ. Doctors said their chance of sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ grew by four per cent every day they stayed in the Wᴏᴍʙ, allowing their ᴏʀɢᴀɴꜱ to develop.
In an interview shortly before the babies were born, she described her five-week sᴄᴀɴ 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 sʜᴏᴄᴋ 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 ᴄʟᴏsᴇ-knit community has already rallied round the couple. Friends have begun extending their log home, local firms have promised to sᴜᴘᴘʟʏ ᴅɪᴀᴘᴇʀs ᴀɴᴅ 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 ᴄᴏɴsᴜᴍᴇᴅ ᴇɴᴏᴜɢʜ ᴄᴀʟᴏʀɪᴇs to keep the babies healthy.
In the end, the babies arrived just in time for Father’s Day, and Mr Carroll spent the day rushing from ɪɴᴄᴜʙᴀᴛᴏʀ ᴛᴏ ɪɴᴄᴜʙᴀᴛᴏʀ, sporting five pink ID bands and one blue, to show he could visit the babies. Mrs Carroll is the second wOᴍᴀɴ in the U.S. to give birth to sᴇxtuplets this month. Two weeks ago Stacey Carey, from Abington, Pennsylvania, also had six babies.