WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KTVU) - Chad and Amy Kempel are now officially a family of nine.
Amy Kempel gave birth to quintuplets, three boys and two girls, at 27 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
The Kempels had arrived at the hospital about three weeks ago, waiting for their little ones to arrive.
The babies arrived at 8:44 p.m. Thursday at Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek by cesarean section in about five minutes. Chad Kempel tells KTVU, "It was so uneventful - it went so smooth." He says all of the doctors and nurses were so calm and did what they needed to do. As Kempel spoke with KTVU he said his wife was doing very well, "she's in her hospital room right now laughing with family."
Four of the babies are breathing on their own - and while one of the siblings is not - they are all doing well.
The babies were born in the following order:
- Lincoln - 2 pounds, 12.8 ounces
- Noelle - 2 pounds, 14.9 ounces
- Grayson - 2 pounds, 5.9 ounces
- Preston - 2 pounds, 5.9 ounces
- Gabriella - 2 pounds, 5.6 ounces
Chad Kempel added that one of the babies, Noelle, had already opened her eyes, so he was able to see them.
To understand how rare quintuplets are, consider this: of the nearly four million babies born in 2015 (the last year for which data is available) only 24 women gave birth to five babies at once. The odds of conceiving quintuplets naturally are one in 60 million, though the odds are higher with fertility help.
To become pregnant with her daughters, Avery, 18 months, and 3-year-old Savannah, she used a procedure known as intrauterine insemination. It’s different from in vitro fertilization because it’s less complex and invasive and also less expensive. She used the same procedure this time around.
About a month into her pregnancy and with her family at her side, Amy Kempel went to her doctor for an ultrasound.
“We heard the doctor call out, ‘baby A, baby B, baby C and when he said ‘baby D’ I started to cry,’’ she said. “At that point I was already really worried and then he said, ‘I think there’s another heartbeat.’ I thought, ‘how is this possible?’ We were only trying for one.”
To get help, a relative set up a Facebook page and a Gofundme page, hoping to raise $750,000 to pay for medical care and hospital costs for the pregnancy and neonatal care.
"Everyone has praying for us and that needs to continue it's going to be a long road," said Chad Kempel.
Editor's note: At this point, the Kempels have not released a photo of the babies