In the days and weeks after giving birth to sextuplets last month, Jenny Masche had to get her mind around the fact that she actually had brought six new breathing human beings into the world.
Now, a new reality is taking hold. The babies will be going home soon, one at a time.
“We’re very excited that we get to take little Blake home today,” the radiant mom told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira Thursday in an exclusive interview from the Phoenix hospital where the babies have been living since they were born June 11, six weeks prematurely, by Caesarian section.
Masche knows she’s fortunate that the family will not have to cope with all six babies coming home at once.
“I’m kind of lucky that I get one at a time,” she said. “I get one baby for a few days, then I’ll have two babies. We’ll kind of wean me into the process.”
Bailey is also ready to go home and will follow her brother in a day or two.
Next week, Cole is scheduled to leave the hospital after he has minor surgery to correct a type of hernia at his belly button.
Of the remaining babies, “Cole would be the first one home because he’s doing so awesome,” Masche said as she stood with her parents, Sue and Bob Simbric, at a large crib holding six tiny and swaddled infants sleeping peacefully side by side by side by side by side by side. “Hopefully, we’ll have him home Tuesday.”
The other three babies — Grant, Savannah and Molli — are still partially dependent on feeding tubes and must remain in the hospital until they are able to “suck, swallow and breathe at the same time,” Jenny said. All can take partial feedings orally, but must finish feeding by tube.
Mom ‘90 percent better’
When Masche first appeared exclusively on TODAY two weeks after the births, she recounted how she nearly died when she went into heart failure after the deliveries. Today, she shows no ill effects.
“It’s over with and we’re moving on and I’m feeling, I’d say, 90 percent better. It’s a huge blessing,” she said.
At the time of the births, doctors said that Jenny’s ability to carry the babies for 30 weeks was the reason all six were healthy and expected to thrive. A day before Masche gave birth, Brianna Morrison gave birth to sextuplets in Minneapolis after just 22 weeks gestation; four died within two weeks of birth.
The Masche sextuplets all weighed between two and three pounds at birth.
They now weigh between three and four pounds.
Bryan Masche, a pharmaceutical company representative, was traveling on business and was scheduled to come home on Friday.
Taped footage showed him in the hospital cradling an infant and remarking about how “before this, I was deathly afraid of holding babies. I didn’t even hold my nephews until they were two years old.”
In the time since the babies were born, the Masches and Simbrics have been training in the fine arts of feeding and diapering babies. Even Grandpa Bob has gotten involved.
“Mom says these are the first diapers he’s changed in his whole life,” Jenny reported.
“There’s no way we could do this without family,” Bryan said in a previously recorded segment. “This is a family project for the next 18 to 20 years.”