LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A Fullerton mom has successfully given birth to a live set of quintuplets at a Phoenix-area hospital, after refusing the advice of doctors who recommended fetal reduction.
Meryl Ferraro, 39, and her husband, John, last week welcomed the arrival of their quintuplets, whom they have collectively nicknamed GRACE, for their first name initials: Gabrielle, Riley (a boy), Addison (a girl), Cooper, and Emerson (a girl).
According to the family’s blog, socalquints.com, the babies were born at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz. on Sept. 26 under the care of perinatologist and multiple birth specialist Dr. John Elliott. John Ferraro says all five babies were out in less than three minutes, with the help of a team of 15 nurses, nine doctors and a nurse practitioner and five respiratory therapists.
The babies were born following a pregnancy of 32 weeks and five days, Ferraro said. The national average gestation for quintuplets is 28 to 29 weeks.
According to the family’s blog, the Ferraros – who had already conceived and given birth to a now 2-year-old daughter with the help of fertility treatments – decided to follow Dr. Elliott back to Arizona after being advised by several doctors in Southern California to seriously consider fetal reduction, the practice of killing one fetus in a multiple-baby pregnancy.
“After reading all the information, we were horrified,” the Ferraro’s background page reads. “We decided it was not our place to choose which of our babies would live and which one would die. If God was giving us 5 babies, there was a reason. We made a decision to see them as a precious blessing from God above and not as burdens we needed to eliminate.”
Hospital officials say the mother is in good condition, and her five babies are receiving care in the neonatal intensive care unit at Cardon Children’s Medical Center. They plan to return home to Fullerton once all the babies have been discharged.