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Octuplets appear to be healthy

BELLFLOWER, Calif. — Newborn octuplets in Southern California are a feisty bunch that appear healthy even at nine weeks premature, a doctor said Tuesday.

Three babies are being given oxygen but appeared to be doing well, said Dr. Mandhir Gupta, a neonatologist at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center. Two of the newborns were initially on ventilators but no longer need them.

At least four could be ready for their first oral feeding later Tuesday.

“All the babies were delivered vigorously, crying and kicking,” he said.

The mother, who has not been identified, gave birth Monday to the six boys and two girls weighing between 1 pound, 8 ounces, and 3 pounds, 4 ounces. She was resting comfortably Tuesday and was elated at welcoming eight children to her family, Gupta said.

The eighth baby surprised the parents and doctors who had prepared to deliver seven children.

“It is quite easy to miss a baby when you’re anticipating seven,” said Dr. Harold Henry, chief of maternal and fetal medicine and one of 46 doctors, nurses and assistants who delivered the children by Caesarean section.

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