Carey, a 33-year-old teacher, and husband Brendan Carey, a 41-year-old bartender, welcomed three boys and three girls at Abington Memorial Hospital on Wednesday. The couple, who live in the Philadelphia suburb of Feasterville, said Monday that they didn't expect to have so many siblings for their 16-month-old daughter, Julianna.
"We weren't expecting a family this big, but we're happy now," the smiling mother said at a news conference at the hospital. She said she was "very, very surprised" when first told she was having sextuplets.
The babies - Emma, Samantha, Olivia, John, Patrick and Connor - weigh between 1 pound, 1 ounce and 2 pounds, 5 ounces, according to hospital officials. Doctors said the Careys conceived while working with a fertility specialist and that the babies were in their 27th week when they were delivered by cesarean section. They remain in critical condition.
"They are all responding to therapy," said Dr. Gerard Michael Cleary, medical director of the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. "They are in no way out of the woods."
The newborns are being fed Carey's breast milk through a feeding tube, Cleary said. Even if all goes well, three months until they are allowed to go home.
Hospital officials said they had developed a specialized team for the delivery and had been practicing how it would go for several weeks. Overall, about 60 people were involved in the delivery.
"They did what they do every day, but they did it six times," said Barbara Wadsworth, the hospital's chief nursing officer.
Stacey Carey said she was feeling good less than a week after the delivery. She thanked her family and said she and her husband know they'll need plenty of help in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
"We'll definitely need their help," she said. "We know that we have a lot of challenges ahead."