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MD: Septuplets Doing Very Well

July 16, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The doctor of a woman who delivered septuplets last week credits the successful birth to the mother’s willpower and motivation to help her children.

``Yesterday she walked with me all the way upstairs to the neonatal intensive care unit,″ where she held two of the babies, said Dr. Mutahar Fauzia, the mother’s physician. ``She didn’t want to walk. I told her, ‘You have to walk.’ So she listened.″

The 28-year-old mother, whose name has not been released, is expected to leave Georgetown University Hospital on Tuesday, Fauzia said. The septuplets, now in the neonatal intensive care unit, will probably stay in the hospital for eight weeks, she said.

The babies have a 95 percent chance of survival, Dr. Siva Subramanian, chief of neonatology, said on CBS’ ``The Early Show″ on Monday. Six are breathing on their own and one remains on a ventilator.

Now, doctors are watching the babies’ temperature, breathing, feeding habits and making sure they remain free of infection, Fauzia said.

``You’re looking at how a normal baby should do, whether they can survive on their own or not,″ she said. ``These babies need more help until they achieve that stage.″

The mother is following a routine post-delivery schedule of resting, eating and visiting the babies, said Fauzia, who began seeing the woman in September.

From the beginning, the mother has been motivated and in good spirits, her doctor said.

``She’s a wonderful person,″ Fauzia said. ``She listens to your advice.″

``When a patient listens to a doctor’s advice, things work out better,″ she added.

The babies’ father, Fahad Qahtani, said he and his wife have lost two children _ a 6-month-old boy and a 3-year-old girl _ who were both waiting for organ transplants. They began using fertility drugs because they wanted a large family, he told the Washington Post in an interview published Monday.

It is unclear whether the babies will have similar problems, Fauzia said, noting that the couple’s 9-year-old son is healthy. ``They will definitely do all the testing before they discharge the babies,″ she said.

The new babies weighed between 2 pounds and 2 pounds, 7 ounces, when they were born by Caesarean section last Thursday. In the day after their birth, the family received $4,500 in donations, as well as car seats, diapers and baby clothes as gifts.

``We have been very fortunate,″ Fauzia said. ``Whenever you go to the nursery, you hear good news.″

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