When Lauren and David went in for a regular ultrasound, no one could have prepared them for the shock of their life!
Lauren and David Perkins were in a dream relationship.
Lauren and David Perkins were in a dream relationship. They were each other’s best friends and always made sure that the other was happy. As soon as they started to date, they began to do everything together.
They began to travel the world together, and the further they went, the closer they felt to each other. As their relationship continued to move forward, they began to question what their next step as a couple would be.
What were they considering?
A Regular Couple
These two were so in love with each other, and they couldn’t wait to start a family that they could love and grow on.
Being adventurous souls, they decided to wait until they were ready. However, they never imagined they would become so distraught.
Every couple is unique. The beauty of two people deciding to share their lives together involves many twists and turns, but for the right match, it works out.
As couples begin to get to know one another, they also find out a lot about themselves that they may not have considered otherwise. In trying to discover more about one’s partner, one ends up asking questions they may not know their own responses to.
A Horrible Secret
As these two tried to have a baby, they had a horrible secret that they were keeping from others.
They didn’t want to share it with anyone else, but the secret was eating them up inside. The truth had to come out.
No One’s Business
As Lauren and David continued to discuss how to go about keeping their secret, they realized it was no one’s business and they shouldn’t be putting so much pressure on themselves about it.
The truth was, even though they were saying it, the two of them wished they could confide in their family and friends about it, knowing that would make them feel better. The entire situation began to slowly eat them up inside.
Would Prevent Them from Getting Pregnant
There was something wrong that would prevent them from getting pregnant. As much as they wanted a baby, this secret was killing them.
These two knew that they had to do something because they wanted this baby so bad, but how far were they really willing to go?
The stress that a couple undergoes while trying to reproduce is like no other. All of their time and energy ends up being spent either thinking about children or doing the actions necessary to create them.
This baby stress definitely ends up being all worth it in the end, but the procedure to get to that end can be an extremely long one for some couples.
The Trying Times
There were a lot of trying times as this couple tried to become pregnant. They took their vitamins and struggled with eating healthy.
However, every month, the same negative pregnancy test would haunt them.
When couples are having trouble getting pregnant, they end up facing many other issues at the same time. So many thoughts begin to run through their heads. Are they right for one another? Will they ever be successful in having a child? What will their life be like if they don’t have a child?
All of these questions can really affect a couple, which makes the whole process even more difficult.
No Baby in Sight
There was no baby in sight, and they were more upset than ever. Could it be because they were keeping the secret to themselves?
The couple thought it was time to tell everyone what was wrong. Maybe they all deserved to know.
First Things First
Before telling their friends and family what had been eating up at them for so long, the Perkins couple decided to seek help. The help they required was clinical, so they wanted to talk to doctors to make sure what they thought was going on was the real deal.
Even though Lauren and David were searching for words of confirmation from medical professionals, they knew deep down that they didn’t want to hear what they were going to say.
Everything Would Change
The couple told everyone that they were infertile, and the secret was a breath of fresh air. Of course, everyone was shocked.
No one could believe that they kept it a secret, and they were ready to make their dream of a baby a reality.
A Weight Off Their Shoulders
Once Lauren and David had both told their parents about their infertility problems, they began to feel so much better. It was as though a huge weight had been lifted off of their shoulders. Both of their parents were extremely helpful in comforting them, so the two of them were able to feel like themselves again.
The relief they felt had even more of a positive impact on their situation than they could have ever imagined.
After a year of trying, and Lauren doing everything she could to promote pregnancy, the couple just wasn’t seeing the results they wanted to.
At this time, more than ever, it’s helpful to be supportive of one another, and keep up a positive environment in the home.
A Helpful Boyfriend
David knew how hard of a time Lauren was going through, so he made sure to try and keep her spirits lifted. Whenever he would arrive home from work, he would instantly begin to make her dinner. He would always do the dishes afterwards, and never complained about doing so.
After dinner, he would either take her out for ice cream, go buy her tons of candy that she loves, or simply sit and talk with her.
Taking a Break
After a hard year, Lauren and David talked about going on a vacation. They thought that it would be helpful to head somewhere calm and relaxing.
Instead of having to focus on pregnancy every day, they thought that a trip might help them to focus on something else for a little while.
Thoughts on Thoughts
Before beginning to plan their trip, the couple did a lot of research. They spent weeks looking up the most relaxing places with the most things to do. Lauren and David both knew that if they were going to go away, they would still want to keep busy.
Keeping busy, for them, went being occupied enough to not think of the past year they had faced. They knew this would be hard.
David and Lauren decided that they would travel to Nicaragua for their vacation.
The vacation was going to be a relaxing one, with the couple enjoying the sandy beaches, going on long hikes and being one with nature.
The second Lauren and David arrived in Nicaragua; they knew that they had made the right choice by going away. From their plane, they could see the beautiful shades of green that took over the island.
During their trip, Lauren and David visited Corn Island, hiked through the trails of Mombacho, went kayaking in the Islets of Granada. The rest of their time was spent laying on the beach.
An Honest Trip
During this time, the couple was able to do a lot of talking, and they were both able to open up about the feelings they had been experiencing all year.
The entire trip was a huge help to the two, who had the opportunity to expel any stress that they were feeling and get rid of any bad feelings they had.
As Lauren and David spent their days talking on the beach, many subjects were brought up. They soon realized that although they planned this trip to stop thinking about their infertility, it felt better when they talked about it.
Besides their pregnancy problems, the couple also spent a lot of time discussing their future together. They promised each other that no matter what happened, they would stick together through it all.
Not only did the couple enjoy time with one another, but they also had friends join them on the trip as well.
However, their friends knew that they were struggling, and they were very supportive of the couple. They were open and honest with David and Lauren.
We All Need the Help of Our Friends
Liveabout’s article on the importance of friendship reads, “Friends helps us deal with stress, make better lifestyle choices that keep us strong, and allow us to rebound from health issues and disease more quickly. Friendship is equally important to our mental health. One study even suggested spending time with positive friends actually changes our outlook for the better.”
Lauren and David were truly reminded of the importance of having friends around during their difficult times.
During the trip, David and Lauren were able to hear a range of views from their closest friends.
Hearing about other people’s problems getting pregnant made Lauren and David feel a bit better. It was nice to know that they weren’t alone in this struggle.
Every single one of Lauren and David’s friends shared different words of kindness. They all made sure to remind the couple that they would be there for them through anything and that this was just a small bump in the road.
Although it may all seem like such simple advice, Lauren and David began to believe in themselves again as their friends reminded them how strong they were.
One of the friends that happened to be joining David and Lauren on their trip worked as a priest back home.
While most of their other friends offered advice on ways to improve pregnancy chances, the priest had a completely different outlook.
One does not need to be religious to admit that the Bible holds a lot of importance advice. Take the 10 commandments as an example. Although most of them are directly related to God, some are just things that every human should remember.
Since Lauren and David’s friend who was a priest spent years of his life reading and analyzing the words of the Bible, he had a lot of wisdom to share with them.
When the couple explained their situation to their priest friend, he didn’t seem to be worried about their situation at all.
The priest shared with the couple that he believed everything that was happening to the couple was happening for a reason. He told them he saw big plans.
Having a priest tell them that he saw big things in their future left Lauren and David wondering what he could possibly mean. Did he mean “big” as in a big house, or a “big” job for both of them? What they really hoped his words meant was that he could see a big family in their future.
Lauren and David continued to ponder all of the possibilities of what the priest’s words could have truly meant.
A Grain of Salt
Of course, Lauren and David didn’t know what to think.
They decided that they would take what their friend said with a grain of salt, and perhaps focus on the possibility that he could always be right.
Their trip was coming to an end, and all of their friends had now gone home. Lauren and David felt the happiest they had felt in years. The ocean, their friends, and the nature they were surrounded by put the two of them into a new head space.
They decided to spend their last few days doing all of the exploring around Emerald Coast that they could.
After a long week of exploring and relaxing together, Lauren and David were finally ready to head back home.
Not only did they get to relieve some stress and re-connect with one another, but they were also exposed to the fact that they had all kinds of support systems to turn to.
When Lauren and David got home, they were feeling really good about their situation. However, they could still tell that there was something missing in their home.
The couple knew that they wanted to keep trying for a child.
Change of Plans
Even though Lauren and David agreed to start trying for a child again, their viewpoint was different.
The couple spent long hours talking about their options, and finally agreed that it might be
Lauren and David began exploring their options and came across artificial insemination.
This was a pain-free, relatively fast procedure that many couples chose to help with pregnancy.
Luckily, ranging anywhere from $300-$500 per session.
Lauren and David read the words of The New York Reproductive Wellness Center that said,“Artificial insemination is a popular method to help infertile women or couples to add to their family. Determining whether artificial insemination is the right fertility solution for you, or opting for another fertility treatment entirely, requires expert advice.”
“Your fertility specialist can perform this procedure by inserting sperm into the uterus (called IUI, or intrauterine insemination), which is the most common form of artificial insemination.”
Lauren and David wanted to make sure they knew all of the dangers of the procedure before agreeing to do anything. Unlike most medical procedures, a woman being artificially inseminated has very few risks. The main problem that could occur from the procedure would be infection, which the doctor doing the procedure could treat quite rapidly.
The small number of risks is what makes artificial insemination so popular for people with fertility problems.
Even though Lauren and David really wanted to become pregnant naturally, they didn’t want to wait forever.
In the end, Lauren and David agreed that they would go for the artificial insemination.
When it came to artificial insemination, the numbers were pretty impressive.
Lauren and David knew the numbers. The success rates for this process were anywhere from 10-15% per menstrual cycle when using ICI, and 15-20% when using IUI.
When watching the doctor put the needle into Lauren’s hip, David could not help but freak out internally. He made sure to keep his cool so that he would not freak Lauren out, but he had so much fear inside of his head. What if the procedure didn’t work?
The important part was that after the procedure was over, Lauren was totally fine. She had no complications whatsoever ever and didn’t feel many side effects. David was thankful.
Once the artificial insemination took place, David and Lauren waited patiently for the news.
In most cases, doctors would recommend that women don’t take a pregnancy
After a few weeks of waiting, Lauren and David were ready for some results.
Lauren purchased multiple pregnancy tests, to make sure that she got a consistent answer.
After the very first test that Lauren already knew the answer:
Now that they knew they were pregnant, Lauren started to look into all of the things she needed to do to make sure this pregnancy was a success.
One of the things Lauren had to stay on top of was her appointments.
Lauren and David couldn’t wait to tell everyone the big news, but they were a bit afraid they would jinx it. The next time they saw all of their friends, they couldn’t help but tell them about their pregnancy. Every single one of their friends with them that day cried tears of joy.
That same night, they went to see both of their parents and they too cried the happiest of tears. (Source: http://perkins6pack.blogspot.com/)
In no time at all, Lauren was scheduled to have her first appointment. By this time, she thought that she was perfectly prepared.
Everything seemed to be going well, and the nurses were very happy with how the small fetus was developing. The nurses spoke with Lauren for quite some time.
Lauren’s nurse wanted to make sure she was aware of everything that could occur while she was pregnant. Things such as high blood pressure can occur in women when they get pregnant, which is the main thing the nurse warned Lauren about.
The long list of potential complications scared Lauren at first, but she knew being able to hold her future child in a few months would be the best thing she has ever experienced.
Lauren immediately began to worry. Nurses calmed her, and explained that it wasn’t something serious, but something to be aware of in the coming months.
What they noticed, was that Lauren seemed to be shower higher than normal levels of HCG. HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, and is it a hormone.
AmericanPregnancy.org explains that “The hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (better known as hCG) is produced during pregnancy.It is made by cells formed in the placenta, which nourishes the egg after it has been fertilized and becomes attached to the uterine wall.
“Typically, the hCG levels will double every 72 hours. The level will reach its peak in the first 8-11 weeks of pregnancy and then will decline and level off for the remainder of the pregnancy.”
More Than One
Lauren didn’t really understand why the nurse was telling her about her HCG levels, if they were a common thing to have in pregnancy tests.
They wanted Lauren to know about this, because higher levels of HCG were most often seen in women
The expectant mother was shocked. More than one baby? Did this mean what she thought it meant?
At this stage in her pregnancy, it was hard to tell. The nurses couldn’t be sure until later ultrasounds. However, Lauren and David felt more ecstatic than ever now!
Two Is Better Than One
The idea of having twins scares some people, while others consider it to be a blessing. Luckily for Lauren and David, they thought of twins as the latter. They had been so focused on the idea of creating only one child, that they hadn’t thought too much about the idea of them having two at once!
Regardless of whether or not they were ready for two children, Lauren and David were thrilled that their dreams had finally become reality.
After trying for so long to become pregnant, David and Lauren were overjoyed with the news that aside from finally being pregnant, they could have twins.
This was a truly unique experience for the couple, one they never could have seen coming. No matter what happened or how many babies there were,
Lauren and David couldn’t wait to go in for another ultrasound. They were so curious about what was growing inside of Lauren.
Aside from all of that, all they wanted to know was that their baby or babies were healthy. At this appointment, they would get to hear the heartbeat, and see any movements going on!
What Could It Be?
For some reason, Lauren felt very uneasy during the morning before their second doctor’s appointment. Besides the normal stress of going to see a doctor when you’re pregnant, she had a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach that something would go wrong.
She couldn’t shake this feeling off. This made every minute feel like hours until she was
The appointment started out fine, just as the first one had. The doctor applied the lubricant to Lauren’s stomach, and began applying the machine to her belly to put up an image on the screen.
At first, everything seemed to be fine. It was only when the doctor started to look deeper at the ultrasound that a
Lauren and David held their breath. They could see the screen, but they had no idea what they were looking at.
Eventually, he spoke. When his voice broke the silence, Lauren heard something she never, ever could have expected.
1, 2, 3 … 6?
“Wait a minute! I just found a sixth baby,” the doctor said as Lauren and David sat and watched the ultrasound screen. After hearing the doctor’s words, they both bursted out laughing. There was no way the doctor was being serious, they though.
Except oh were they wrong about that… Once the couple stopped laughing, the doctor informed them that they were in fact very serious –
Lauren and David sat in silence. Neither had any idea what to say. Six babies?! They had expected two, maybe three babies total.
It was a surreal moment that took both David and Lauren a moment to really let sink in.
Excitement and Fear
At first, Lauren and David had a mixed bag of emotions to deal with. They were grappling with the idea of having six children all at once.
It was safe to say that the couple had no idea what to do with the news, at first. They had so many questions.
On their blog, Lauren writes, “Lastly, some reflections… exactly a year ago I found out I was pregnant. A week and a half later I found out I was pregnant with 6 babies. Excitement to shock to worry to wishing some would magically disappear at each ultrasound to accepting that I would indeed have 6 babies.”
Once the news broke about their six babies, Lauren and David were informed about all kinds of information and advice to help them.
In the case of having multiple babies, each would be fighting for the room and nutrients that Lauren provided.
The couple knew that this could be a dangerous pregnancy.
Would She Make It?
Beyond just the fear of facing the fact that she had six fetuses growing inside of her, Lauren had a number of other concerns about everything that was happening. Firstly, although she already loved her six unborn children, she feared the idea that she may not be able to push out that many children, which would cause her to die during pregnancy.
A very valid fear to have – one that most women think about while they are pregnant.
Lauren had never considered the fact that some of the babies not get the same nutrients and blood that the others did.
In the meantime, Lauren and David were given some options. One of them had to do with the option of reducing the number of babies in the womb.
This could be done.
Abortion is a very sensitive subject that people have a hard time thinking about, until they are forced to. Although reducing the number of fetuses in Lauren’s womb was a very special case, Lauren and David couldn’t help but think that it was abortion, nonetheless.
The couple also took their Christian religious views into consideration during this time. The idea of losing one of their children was so unsettling for them.
A Hard Decision
This was a very hard decision for Lauren and David to make. After hoping so hard for one baby, now they had been blessed with six.
David and Lauren spent long hours trying to decide what to do.
At the end of the day, it was harder for the couple to fathom denying any one of their babies a chance at life.
Lauren was a strong woman, and she felt as though her body would fight for her and her babies.
As soon as the couple made their decision, the wheels were in motion. The doctors promised that they would do everything in their power.
Not only that, but everyone working with the couple at the hospital took extra time and
Over the next seven months, Lauren’s body started to do some incredible things. Her body had to compensate for all of the little beings inside of her.
Lauren started to experience lots of back and foot pain, and it was hard for her to travel very far for very long.
Lauren was made aware that she would likely go into labor much sooner than most women. This was because of the size of her stomach.
Eventually, there was no more room left for the babies to grow. Lauren was preparing every single day in case they had to head to the hospital.
David knew Lauren well enough to be able to tell how scared she was about being so far along in her pregnancy, even if she tried to hide these fears. He began to get very concerned for her because she stopped doing the things she would do on a daily basis, because she was scared it would hurt the fetuses.
The truth was that David had no idea what it was like to have six children growing inside you, but he did his best to be as empathetic with Lauren as possible.
In her 30th week of being pregnant, Lauren started to feel the signs of labor. She was feeling incredible pain, and she began to keep track of her contractions.
They were told to head to the hospital in these cases since the doctors wanted to be sure that
For most women, a normal time to go into labor was anywhere from the 38th week to the 41st week of pregnancy. However, she was going in much earlier.
In this case, the doctors referred to her babies as “premature”. This meant that they would be much smaller than the regular baby.
Once they arrived at the hospital, David took on the responsibility of calling all of their friends and family to update them on what was happening. After doing so, it wasn’t long before most of the people David had called were coming to see them at the hospital.
David and Lauren were feeling so many emotions at once, but they were grateful to have
Because Lauren was giving birth to six babies, the hospital had to be prepared. They knew all about Lauren.
Almost everyone knew about Lauren’s case, and they were all ready to go.
When it was time for Lauren to start pushing, the hospital staff was on top of everything. There were 35 workers waiting for her!
Lauren couldn’t believe that so many people were here, just to
As everything began happening in the hospital, it finally hit Lauren that this was really happening. It had seemed like a dream for so long.
The momma-to-be was mixed with excitement and nervousness.
Lauren was required to have all of her babies via cesarean-section. The whole process was a bit of a blur for the couple.
In fact, the process really was only a few minutes long—four, to be exact! It was true.
As was expected, all of the babies were very tiny when they were born. They had all been sharing quite a small space.
Each baby only weighed one to two pounds’ total, which was very small. In the end, Lauren gave birth to Benjamin, Caroline, Levi, Leah, Allison, and Andrew.
Nothing But Love
In Lauren’s blog, she writes about the feelings of pure love she felt when she finally got to be with her newborns.
She writes, “I officially met them on Tuesday and got to touch them! I couldn’t believe they all fit inside my belly. My very favorite moment was getting to hold one of them this morning; she had been upset,
During all of this time, Lauren had been unable to see most of what was going on because of her surgery. They all had to be taken directly to the NICU unit for more care.
Lauren longed to see her children, and the nurses knew this. She got to touch their feet instead.
Hard Times for a New Mother
“5 of the babies are cruising along as expected for preemies born at 30 weeks. One baby is sick, but making progress. In the NICU, things change hourly so we’re constantly getting updates. We’re concentrating on their general health and progress,” Lauren wrote on her blog.
Of course, she was only writing her blog post weeks after the actual event, but you can read her concern about her children in between her lines.
The next few days were hard for the new parents. Even though they had just had six children, they weren’t allowed to touch or hold any of them!
It was four days before any of the children were strong enough to be in contact with their parents. Allison was the first to be given the go-ahead, and it was a wonderful moment.
Over the next little while, all of the babies stayed in the NICU to be looked over by the staff.
Lauren and David constantly worried about each of their children, and they were constantly praying that all of the children would grow strong.
Although Lauren and David were absolutely thrilled to have all of their children, they feared for their well-being since they were born so early on.
Some of the risks of a baby being born premature include the potential for developing intraventricular hemorrhage, anemia, patent ductus arteriosus, apnea, or respiratory distress syndrome – all of which can put a baby seriously in danger.
A Long Wait
It was the little victories that kept Lauren and David feeling positive. Each of their babies was getting bigger.
Eventually, all of the babies were healthy enough that their parents could hold them.
After four months in the NICU, five of the six babies were released to go home. However, there was one baby, Leah, who had to stay behind.
Little Leah had been at the very bottom of the womb, and the weight of all of the other babies had
Although Leah struggled more than the rest of her siblings, she was very resilient. Not long after her siblings, Leah finally made the trip home.
Her parents now had all kinds of preparations completed for Leah, and they knew what they needed to do to give her the extra care she required.
The Perkins’ First Halloween
How adorable is this picture of the six Perkins babies all in their separate Halloween costumes?
Lauren decided to dress all the kids up as some form of animal or insect. Many of the costumes were hand-me-downs from the children’s grandparents, which the couple is so grateful for. Buying six Halloween costumes would be extremely pricey. The couple is lucky they have so many people helping them out.
The Perkins’ First Christmas
When blogging about their first Christmas as a family of eight, Lauren writes, “Christmas day we headed to my grandparents house for the afternoon! The babies were great in the car and at their house. We just ate yummy food, played games, visited, and opened a few gifts. It was a surprisingly relaxing day. I’m sure future Christmases will be much more hectic!”
Every single day is a learning experience for David and Lauren. Having one child is one thing, but having six is a whole other monster!
This meant figuring out feeding schedules, nap schedules, and everything in between.
Lauren and David attribute all of their success to the amazing friends, family, doctors and hospital staff that helped them along the way.
If you can believe it, Lauren and David’s children are now six years old!
When it comes to little Leah, she is just as feisty and hilarious as her siblings. Leah tries to be independent and even attends a preschool for kids with disabilities.
Even through her adversities, Leah is a positive young lady who is excited about her future.
The Six At Age Six
In 2018, Lauren and David cannot believe that their six children were now all six-years-old. This also meant that they had all just graduated Kindergarten, a huge moment in a parents’ life!
Lauren says she cannot believe how fast time is going by. For her, it feels like just yesterday that her and David were finding out that they were having six children.
On the Go
When Lauren writes on her blog, she leaves no details out. When discussing their daily routines, she writes “I packed lunches, backpacks, and had clothes laid out the night before or else we’d never make it on time. Cut it close every single day as it was.”
Lauren also adds that “None of them liked going to school more than I loved dropping them off in the morning! Sweet taste of freedom- for a few hours on weekdays 😉 The school year spoiled me.”
From Then to Now
The “about me” section on their blog reads, “Dave and I (Lauren) met at a Baylor football game in 2003. We got married in July 2007. We adopted our dog, Maggie, in 2010, and our sextuplets (Andrew, Benjamin, Caroline, Leah, Allison, and Levi) were born April 23, 2012.”
Their unique family experience is most definitely deserving of a blog. They have thousands of readers on it, who love to find out what every moment of their sextuplet experience has been like.
At the end of the day, Lauren and David never could have imagined themselves becoming parents to six children.
Lauren and David proved that even couples with pregnancy issues can in fact create their own families.
Today, the Perkins children are 7-years-old.
“7 years! Seven. Years. 7 years of being known as “the lady with all the babies”… by the way- my name is Lauren… and they’re not babies anymore. They’re so their own little people now. About as independent as a person can be at that age. I love seeing them learn new things and play together and how they care for each other,” Lauren writes.
Advice That Stuck
“A couple things that were told to me back in the baby days that have stuck with me… 1. when you turn down offers of help, you’re taking away a blessing from someone. 2. Your family is now your mission field. Raising these kids and how you interact with all the people that are coming in and out of your family’s life,” Lauren writes on her blog.
This beautiful story is a reminder of the importance of family and being there for your loved ones.