Heather Carroll, a petite woman from Alabama, has amazed many by carrying and nurturing a set of sextuplets simultaneously within her belly. Recently, she shared her remarkable journey, highlighting the challenges she faced. To sustain the growing babies, Heather had to consume a staggering 6,000 calories daily. Despite feeling both ecstatic and exhausted, the 5’2″ tall mother expressed her joy and relief, stating that all five girls and one boy are thriving. Heather and her husband Mitchell also revealed that they named their six children alphabetically, using the letters assigned by the doctors during their time in the womb: Abbie, Brooklyn, Chloe, David, Ellie, and Faith. The sextuplets were delivered via a planned Caesarian section, marking Heather’s 28th week and one day of pregnancy following a month of strict bed rest, coinciding with her 30th birthday.
The arrival of the sextuplets occurred within a remarkably brief span of three minutes. The eldest, Abbie, was born at 8:05 am, while the youngest, Faith, entered the world at 8:08 am. Their weights varied between 1 pound 10 ounces and 2 pounds 5 ounces.
A team of 51 medical professionals, who had diligently rehearsed the delivery on six occasions, warmly greeted the babies’ arrival. Each baby received dedicated care from their own group of doctors and nurses.
The 30-year-old woman elicited laughter from the gathered press as she recounted her daily diet of 6,000 calories. She expressed, “It was very challenging. They had me keep a record of everything I ate, and they would always calculate the calories for it. And all the snacks—every day, they would bring me snack foods and desserts. It was enjoyable, but I cannot imagine going through that again.”
Mrs. Carroll, weighing 115 pounds, gained an additional 35 pounds during her pregnancy, a weight she could hardly bear. In the week leading up to her childbirth, she could distinctly feel the position of each baby: one on each hip, three lower down on her pelvis, and another moving up and down.
The couple had struggled for years to conceive and Mrs. Carroll experienced four miscarriages before being diagnosed with polycystic ovaries. To conceive their child Grant, Mrs. Carroll underwent intrauterine insemination, a procedure involving fertility drugs to enhance her own egg production before her husband’s sperm was directly injected into her uterus.
She went through the same process for her subsequent pregnancy, which occasionally results in twins or triplets but rarely sextuplets. In an interview shortly before the babies were born, she described her five-week scan to the Birmingham News, recalling the nurse’s surprise. Initially, the nurse thought she was going to faint, but then exclaimed, “Oh no, there’s six,” followed by apologies.
Overwhelmed by the revelation, Mrs. Carroll burst into tears. She recalled, “All I could think about was how we were going to take care of six babies because we had a hard enough time with our first.”
Their close-knit community has already come together to support the couple. Friends have started extending their log home, local businesses have pledged to provide diapers and formula milk, and a car dealership may donate a van.
The local church, where Mr. Carroll serves as a youth pastor, has committed to expanding its nursery, and Mrs. Carroll’s doctor’s office organized a baby shower for her.
A month prior to the birth of the babies, Mrs. Carroll was admitted to Brockwood Medical Center for continuous monitoring. She consumed nutrient-packed milkshakes with every meal and received additional supplements through an IV drip to ensure she consumed enough calories to keep the babies healthy.
During the last few days, she experienced regular contractions and had to take medication to prevent the babies from arriving prematurely. Doctors explained that each day the babies stayed in the womb, their chances of survival increased by four percent, allowing their organs to develop.
Dr. McKenzie remarked, “It’s a highly demanding situation for a woman’s body, and she is petite in stature. But she has a big heart.”
Finally, the babies arrived just in time for Father’s Day, and Mr. Carroll spent the day moving between incubators, proudly wearing five pink ID bands and one blue, to demonstrate that he could visit each baby.
Speaking to the Birmingham News, he expressed his elation, stating, “I’m on top of the world. Everything this morning was perfect.”
Dr. McKenzie expressed in a statement, “Heather and Mitchell Carroll showed unwavering commitment to this journey, with their family and community providing support, and their faith in God remained steadfast. I am immensely proud of this mother’s resilience and grateful for the exceptional preparation and care she received at Brookwood Medical Center.”
Mrs. Carroll joins the ranks of only two women in the United States to give birth to sextuplets this month. Two weeks ago, Stacey Carey from Abington, Pennsylvania, also welcomed six babies into the world.