WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The San Francisco Bay Area’s new quintuplets made their public debut Sunday evening on YouTube.
Lincoln, Noelle, Grayson, Preston and Gabriella Kempel turned 2-months-old Sunday, and to celebrate their parents released a short video showing the babies.
At just over 27 weeks pregnant, Amy Kempel gave birth to the babies on January 11, at Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek by cesarean section. The babies were healthy, but all weighed less than 3 pounds at birth.
The Kempels waited to show the world pictures of the babies until they looked more like full-term newborns.
"It felt really good to finally show the babies to our family and friends,’’ father Chad Kempel said in a Facebook message to KTVU. “Our parents and siblings and closer friends have all met them in the hospital, but we haven’t shared any photos or video with anyone before today.”
While the babies remain in the neonatal intensive care unit at Kaiser, Gabriella is expected to go home to Mountain House later this month. Preston is next in line for a homecoming. The three others will follow one at a time in the coming weeks, said Chad Kempel.
The five babies will join the Kempels two other children: Avery 20 months, and 3-year-old Savannah.
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, Amy Kempel 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.
About a month into her pregnancy and with her family at her side, she 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 recalled in an interview with KTVU. “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.”
The Kempels are raising money for medical care. Go help, check out their Gofundme page.