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Lauren :: How I Became a Mother

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Lauren’s Story

Becoming a mother was always part of my life plan.  But, life doesn’t always go according to plan.

After a year of trying with no success, I decided to see a fertility specialist.  The first doctor I saw completely overwhelmed me with plans of different drugs and injections.  I just wanted to know what was wrong with me, and I was NOT ready for that route!  After a few more months of not getting pregnant, I visited a different doctor.  Same plans of drugs and injections, but this doctor approached the problem differently.  My husband and I just weren’t quite sure we were ready to actually go through with it and needed some time to think and pray on the whole issue.

During this ‘processing time,’ we went on a mission trip to Nicaragua with our church.  While there we were asked to share a personal struggle at a morning devotional.  I shared my fertility issues thinking it would stay in the safety of the small group.  Little did I know, one of my teammates shared my story with the pastor of the church where we were working.  He just wanted someone else to pray for me.  That night, the pastor said she’d like for a couple of her Texas friends to come to the front to be prayed for by the congregation.  I thought, How nice!  Some people are really getting close to the Nicaraguan people!”  Then she called “Lorena y David” to the front.  {For the record – getting up in front of a group of people, especially a rural non-English speaking church in a foreign country, is WAY out of my comfort zone!}  Our over-sharing friend leaned forward and apologized, promising he did not know we’d be called to the front.  But…we were.  And we walked up there looking like two deer in headlights.  A group of people put their hands on us and prayed for fertility.  It was all in Spanish, so I have no idea what was said exactly.  But it was emotional, and it was moving – language barrier or not.  When it was time to come back to Texas, we said our goodbyes and loaded up the bus.  Before I got on, the pastor stopped me.  She told me she knew God had big plans for me; she didn’t know what, but it would be big.  Now, this is a woman I respect, but at the time I thought Okay…that was just a strange thing to tell someone.”

I didn’t think much about the trip after we were back home and going to doctor appointments again.

Husband and I agreed to try IUI {intrauterine insemination} once, then reevaluate the whole baby making issue.  I was convinced it wouldn’t work anyway.  Have you seen those statistics? 25% chance of pregnancy.  That’s it.  So, we did the procedure and the 2 week wait.  I got the call…and I was pregnant!!!  But the nurse told me my beta levels were quite high, so it’s likely to be multiples.  What?!  Multiples?!  That’s crazy!  They wanted more blood work done to double check things.  I did the blood test.  My levels were even higher.  Time for an ultrasound to see what was going on in my uterus.  Meaning – they needed to see how many babies I was having.

I remember talking with my mom before the ultrasound.  Did we think it would be twins or triplets?  The thought was overwhelming. What would I do with TRIPLETS?!  My husband came with me to the ultrasound.  I had a list of people to call once we found out how many babies were in there.  Not sure how long the doctor stared at the screen, but it seemed like an eternity.  I broke the silence, “So, how many?”

“Well,” he said, “I just counted 5.”

5?!  5?!  That’s not possible.

He came back with, “Hold on.  I just found a sixth one.”

“You mean all those blobs are babies?!” in my head translated to – “Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God…” out of my mouth.  My poor husband just stared at the screen in shock.  I was pregnant with sextuplets.  I thought that only happened to people on TV.  That 1% chance?  Yep, that’s me.

We started making phone calls.  Everyone thought we were joking.  Until they saw our faces.  No sense of joy and excitement, just fear and worry.  The next move was a big one – the decision to reduce the number of babies or keep them all and see what happens.  We met with a high risk doctor who also performs reductions.  The pros and cons of any decision were explained to us.  I don’t think I heard anything positive about having sextuplets.  I didn’t know what to do, and I agonized over it for weeks.  We consulted family, friends, medical professionals, pastors, and prayed for guidance.  After much thought, prayer, crying, and talking, I knew I couldn’t reduce.

I went back to the doctor.  “You’re going to try to carry all 6?” he asked me.  “Yep,” I replied.  “Okay, I’ll do what I can to get you to 28 weeks.”  And so it began.

I had a cerclage placed at 14 weeks which would hopefully help keep the babies in a little longer.  When you go into your pregnancy knowing that you’ll deliver early and your kids will be in the NICU for weeks on end, it definitely changes your perspective.  My focus was how to keep the babies in as long as I could.  I quit working at 17 weeks and started my ‘home rest’ period.  As a very active person, I thought this would drive me crazy, but it really never did.  I was so uncomfortable and tired most of the time, I didn’t really want to do much.  All of my pregnancy projects I had planned were never touched.  By far, the worst part of my pregnancy was the ITCHING.   I had PUPPS and cholestasis, both have the side effect of itching.  It was just plain awful incessant itching.  Until two days after I delivered when it all stopped like magic.  People are typically surprised to hear that I did not spend weeks in the hospital on bed rest.  I had three separate overnight stays for various reasons, and luckily stayed home the rest of the time.  I’m extremely thankful for that – I hated staying in the hospital!  Granted, I do live close to the awesome Houston medical center, and I was never left alone…just in case.

Lauren Perkins (1)

I had to rely on others to prepare for these babies.  Our church small group started bringing meals, helped me register for items, took me to appointments, and put together baby items.  My mom came to stay with me the last two months of my pregnancy – what a blessing that was!  She made sure I ate enough, set up the nursery, and did all the household chores.  {You’re never too old to need your mom!}  Friends and friends of friends started collecting hand-me-downs for us.   There were SO MANY donations it was unreal.  Our dining room was filled to the brim four times over during my pregnancy with donations.  We quickly ran out of storage room!  I also had 6 baby showers – a complete coincidence!  Having the showers was when I started to get a little joy and excitement and not just feeling overwhelmed.

Once I made it to 28 weeks, there was a sense of relief on my part; the babies had a good chance of survival now.  During my 29th week appointment, it was evident that one of the babies was not doing well and neither was my blood pressure.  I was admitted immediately after the appointment on a Friday evening.  We had to wait for a Monday morning delivery because that’s when they could get everyone there.  {The hospital had held sextuplet delivery practices.}  Luckily, all was stable over the weekend and I made it to 30 weeks!

Lauren Perkins (3)

Monday morning, April 23, 2012, was delivery day!  I was nervous and excited all at once.  It was starting to sink in that this was for real – I was going to have 6 babies.  The hospital photographer chronicled everything for us.  Although I look terrible in these photos, I just love them.  Without them I wouldn’t have seen the 35 people in the delivery room, the line of nurses waiting to catch my babies, my babies first moments in the world, or the madness of the NICU setting up 6 incoming patients at once.  It took a total of four minutes to get them all out.  Andrew Noah, Benjamin Luke, Caroline Grace, Leah Michelle, Allison Kate, and Levi Thomas were all born between 1-2 pounds.  I didn’t expect to see my babies until the next day, but each baby’s team rolled them by me one by one on their way up to the NICU, and I got to touch their little fingers.  The babies weren’t stable enough to hold at first, and we could only stick our hands in the isolettes.  When they were four days old, Miss Allison was stable enough to be held.  It took the nurse ten minutes to get all the wires and monitors set up so I could hold her, but I couldn’t wait to actually hold one of my babies!  And that moment, when I got to hold my baby, was when I became a mother…of sextuplets.  I guess God did have big plans for me after all.

Lauren Perkins (2)

On a side note, the generosity of the people in this community has amazed me from day one.  I have had tremendous support from our families, friends, church, neighbors, and even strangers.  Their material donations, time, and prayers have helped our family survive, and I can never thank them enough.  Of course, I cannot forget our medical staff!  My doctor was the best and I’m forever grateful to him for the level of care I received.  Also, the NICU staff who put in hours upon hours getting our children ready to come home and teaching us the ins and outs of preemie care.  So many of these people have a special place in our hearts and family.

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week, we are dedicated to raising awareness and educating our community about the varying types of infertility and the many options available.  Our hope is that this series will open your eyes and inspire you in a really dynamic way, so please join us as real local moms open up and share their stories all throughout the week.  To read more, please click here.

Please Note :: Bassett Baby Planning is graciously sponsoring our ‘How I Became a Mother Series’…and we would not have it any other way!  We are passionate about all that they are doing for new and expecting moms, and we encourage you to contact them to help in your journey to becoming a mother too.

To learn more about Bassett Baby Planning

or schedule an appointment, please contact ::

855.455.BABY or info {at} bassettbabyplanning {dot} com

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10 Responses to Lauren :: How I Became a Mother

  1. Bre
    Bre November 14, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    Wow. Just, wow.

  2. Meg O. November 14, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Oh my goodness. This is such an incredible story. Thank you so much for sharing it here on Houston Moms Blog, Lauren! You are one tough mama and I am smitten with those beautiful babies!

  3. Chelsea Purifoy
    Chelsea Purifoy November 14, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your incredible story with us Lauren! I’ve heard your story before, but I’m still in awe of you and your family after reading it again. You and your husband are amazing and an inspiration to us all. Hope to see you soon! Maybe Sara and I can plan a little girls lunch or something soon so we can all catchup.

  4. Channing L November 14, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Lauren you are an amazing mom! Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Sarah November 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Beautiful story. I love your children’s names, too.

  6. Michelle T November 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    And I thought my 4 kids was crazy. You are my HERO Lauren. Also I believe one of my friends was one of those 35 people (one of the nurses) in the delivery room with you!

  7. Kelly D
    Kelly D November 16, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    Such an incredible story…and such an inspirational mama! The Lord definitely knew what he was doing when he blessed you with those six beautiful babies!!

  8. roxanne January 28, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    im just sitting here with tears of awe and joy and love streaaaming down my cheeks!! this is just the COOEST story 🙂 you are so incredibly blessed. and your kids are so blessed to have you as their momma. God obviously created you for this job… and that is super cool! there is no greater gift than BEING a momma, and no greater blessing to a child than to have loving, tender, gentle parents who love Jesus and share His love with them. AH!! i cant even BEGIN to imagine the challenges you experience on the daily…but man. you are an inspiration and just…. a LIGHT!!!! I just…. see God’s work when I see those 6 adorable little faces!!!!

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