Minnesota quints get first hug from mom

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- The latest set of Minnesota quintuplets, born nearly four months early, reached their original due date and celebrated with their first hug from mom.

Brenda Derks, their mother, held them for the first time a week ago.

"Sometimes I just look at them and think, 'How can one person have so much love to spread around at once?"' she said in a prepared statement released Friday.

The mother and father of three girls and two boys -- born by Caesarean section May 5 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis -- celebrated in the special care nursery jointly operated by Abbott and Children's Hospitals and Clinics.


Until last week, Brenda and Jim Derks of River Falls, Wis., had only been able to observe their five babies, none of whom weighed more than 11⁄2; pounds at birth.

Hospital officials said the couple did not wish to speak to the media.

The babies -- Katina, Darin, Stephanie, Shawn and Brooklyn -- are all doing well after spending the first months of their lives in the hospital. They now range from 4 pounds, 9 ounces, to more than 71⁄2; pounds.

Dr. Bruce Ferrara, a hospital neonatologist who was on the team that cared for the babies, said it's a milestone that they all made it to their normal due date.

Statistically, babies born at 24 weeks have a 70 percent to 80 percent chance of surviving -- and that's for singleton babies.

"While not without some intense moments, these babies have done remarkably well," Ferrara said.

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