Sextuplets Celebrate Third Birthday

After this story aired on "Good Morning America," K-Mart contacted the Hayes family to give them two $50 gift certificates to the store to help out with the sextuplets' many needs.

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Sept. 14 means there's a birthday in the Hayes household, six times over. Three years ago, Eric and Elizabeth Hayes gave birth to sextuplets.

Then they were six bundles of joy, now they are six individual toddlers with distinct personalities.

Rachel's the Curious George of the group, E.J. is the shy one, and Ryan's the most outgoing, who believes in sharing, until push comes to bite. While Tara prefers her alone time, Connor, the resident drama king, enjoys his time at center stage.

Rebecca is the only sextuplet who is struggling -- she has cerebral palsy -- raising all the questions about the consequences of fertility medicine.

The Hayes already had three boys and one girl when they decided to give parenthood one more shot, in hopes of a sister for their daughter.

"And, you know, we hit the jackpot," Eric said. He explained that originally they thought they were having triplets, possibly quintuplets, but never sextuplets, until the third doctor's visit when he held up six fingers to tell the lucky parents what they had to look forward to.

Even with the shocking news, the Hayes said they never considered selective reduction, a practice used to reduce the number of implanted embryos.

"You tell me right now, who you wouldn't want to be here? Pick one, pick two, pick three, tell me. I couldn't do that," Eric Hayes said.

The older twins -- 9-year-olds Kieran and Meghan and 11-year-olds Kevin and Kyle – do what they can to help with the often literally "dirty" half dozen.

The Hayes say the secret of each day is a constant schedule, gratitude and laughter, especially when it comes to watching shows like ABC's "Super Nanny."

"I like to see what kind of fools there are all out there 'cause we're handling it with 10 and they have one and two and they -- they're going bananas," Eric said.

Each day in the Hayes household means six loads of laundry, four runs of the dish washer and two full gallons of milk. But the biggest number is 120. That's the decibel level of six crying babies, and it's louder than a subway, an ambulance siren or a chainsaw.

"When they were infants all six of them would be crying and I would just stand there and I'd start to laugh because there's really nothing you can do outside of, you know, crying," Elizabeth said.

Ten cries, 10 laughs -- one beating heart of a family.

Donations for the Hayes Family can be sent to:
Our Lady of Grace Church
400 Willow Avenue
Hoboken, N.J., 07030

100% of your donation will go to the Hayes Family. Make checks payable to "Our Lady of Grace Church" and please write "Hayes Family" in the notation. A tax statement will be sent to all donors of $250 or more.

For more information, call (201)659-0369 or e-mail:padrealex@yahoo.com.

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