Octuplet Birth to Single Mom of Six Sparks Debate

Outside the family's home, bikes and toddler toys were scattered across the front yard. It appears the family will live in a three-bedroom house bursting with babies when the octuplets are released from the hospital in an estimated two months.

The babies are under close medical watch and now, of the eight, only one requires assisted breathing. During a news conference Thursday, doctors from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center described the octuplets as "feisty."

But according to Johnson, they are "far from out of the woods."

"They still face great risks in terms of immediate medical problems, such as bleeding in the brain or breathing problems that will develop," he said. "And certainly, they face a long, higher risk for developmental problems. They are seemingly going to get excellent medical care, which is in their favor, but it will be a long time before we know what will happen."

Raising 14 Kids Costs More Than $2 Million

Dr. Charles Sophy, the medical director of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, cautioned that giving birth to octuplets would put eight times as much stress on a single mother and pose a daunting task in terms of rearing.

"It costs money to raise children. To raise these kids is probably going to cost about $2.5 million, just to give them basics," he said. "That is not baseball lessons or piano lessons. That is food, clothing or getting to school every day -- that is a lot of money."

The Department of Children and Family Services would worry that, in a house of 14, there would be a lack of attention or that the children would be at higher risk of abuse or neglect.

Doctors at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center said they have already received several donations for the children.

Birth by the Numbers: 46 on Staff, 4 Delivery Rooms, 5 Minutes, 8 New Lives

The octuplets, who were born by Caesarean section and delivered by a 46-member team of doctors at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center in Bellflower, Calif., arrived nine weeks premature.

The hospital's delivery team, which was spread out in four delivery rooms, ran each baby from the mother into another room and then ran back for the next in a bizarre relay race that successfully brought eight new lives into the world.

The eighth baby surprised the hospital delivery team, which had been planning for a seven-baby delivery for weeks.

"It was a shock, especially finding the eighth baby," Dr. Karen Maples of California's Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center said Tuesday. "My eyes were wide."

Maples said the team handled the surprise birth "without missing a beat."

The two girls and six boys ranged in weight from 1 pound, 8 ounces to 3 pounds, 4 ounces and totaled more than 24 pounds.

They are only the second octuplets born and the first in which all the babies survived for more than a few hours.

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