Houston-area woman gives birth to quintuplets

HOUSTON -- A 30-year-old Houston-area woman has given birth to healthy quintuplets with the help of 23 doctors working in two operating rooms, the mother and hospital officials said Tuesday.

The delivery by cesarean section took less than two minutes Saturday, and a doctor said the babies were unusually healthy and required no support other than oxygen.

Two are already breathing on their own, Dr. Ursula Nawab said Tuesday.

Veronica Mayorga-Real, 30, delivered the three girls and two boys at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital. Aaron, Priscilla, Matilde, Joel and Isaac weighed between 2 pounds 14 ounces and nearly 4 pounds.

They will stay in the hospital for six to eight weeks until they can eat and breathe on their own.

The quintuplets were born at 29 weeks -- or 11 weeks premature -- several weeks later than most multiple births, Nawab said. They also had an unusually easy delivery. Multiple-birth babies are often born well early and can be very sick, the doctor said.

She credited the children's health in this case to Mayorga-Real's problem-free pregnancy and how long she carried them.

"It's pretty remarkable for them to grow that well when there are four other fetuses around," Nawab said. "She was very fortunate that these babies went as far as they did."

There are only about 100 known sets of quintuplets in the world.

Mayorga-Real and her husband, 33-year-old Enrique Mayorga, had been trying to conceive for five years and had turned to fertility drugs. But when Mayorga-Real saw her ultrasound, she was surprised.

"I thought maybe we were having twins, maximum," she said. "When I found out they were five, I cried. I couldn't believe it."

She had to show her husband the picture for him to believe it.

The couple already have a son, 8-year-old Fernando, who is excited about his new siblings and is ready to help, his mother said.

Mayorga-Real also said the family is ready for the babies to come home as soon as they can. In January, the couple bought a three-bedroom house in Humble, a suburb about 20 miles from Houston.

In 1998, a Houston mother gave birth to the first live-born octuplets in the country.