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It’s a Boy, Girl, Girl, Girl, Girl 3/8

April 29, 1988

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ It’s a boy, girl, girl, girl and girl for Max and Terry Simunich.

The first-time parents said Friday they’re ″five times happy″ with their quintuplets, born three months prematurely earlier this week.

″I think it’s wonderful. You get a whole family at once,″ Mrs. Simunich, 26, said from a wheelchair after visiting her babies in the neonatal intensive care unit of Magee-Womens Hospital. ″I don’t want to do this again, but it’s worth it.″

Mrs. Simunich, a registered nurse, learned she was expecting quintuplets about a month after she became pregnant last fall after taking a fertility drug. Even so, she and her husband are still not over the shock.

″You have to deal with this. This is what you have. This is what God has given you,″ said Simunich, 28, a buyer for a wholesale grocery company.

The babies were delivered by Caesarean section during a five-minute span beginning just before midnight Wednesday.

Bradley Andrew came first, followed by Emily Marie. After midnight, Allison Nicole, Rachel Lauren and Kathryn Elizabeth were born, giving them a birthday a day after their older siblings. The babies ranged from 1 pound, 8 ounces, to 1 pound, 10 ounces.

They were listed in critical but stable condition Friday.

″We do feel they have a reasonable chance and at this point are optimistic,″ said Dr. Robert D. Guthrie, the hospital’s chief of pediatrics. The next week will be the most crucial, he said.

Quintuplets occur naturally once per 6 million to 7 million births, according to the hospital, but use of a fertility drug ups those odds. The only other set of quintuplets born at Magee-Womens Hospital, in 1966, all died within days of birth.

During the pregnancy, the Simuniches didn’t go on a buying spree or make major changes at their four-bedroom home in Greenville, a small community in northwestern Pennsylvania.

″We’ve tried as much as possible to keep a normal attitude about the things that we do from day to day,″ Simunich said. ″We don’t have a choice, and to worry about it just causes more anxiety.″

Mrs. Simunich was hospitalized about a month ago as a precaution and went into labor several times but was given a drug that stopped it. Wednesday night, doctors decided they could wait no longer, and a 33-member medical team delivered the babies by Caesarean section.

The quintuplets are expected to remain in the hospital until late July.

Mrs. Simunich said her career plans are up in the air but she hopes eventually to return to nursing part-time. In the meantime, she’s going to go home and wait for the babies to join her.

″I’m going to sit on my deck and have a drink,″ she said, laughing.

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