First septuplet goes home
The Detroit News (Page 1A, lower half)

August 28, 1982

Mary Carlson became the first septuplet to go home with her parents today, according to a report from Sinai Hospital, where she and her sisters were born July 12.

Mary, the fourth-born of the world's only septuplets, was the second smallest at birth, but is now the second largest of at 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The first-born, Melissa, is the largest at 5 pounds, 6 ounces. She was expected to be the first to go home, but developed moderate digestive trouble which delayed her release. Doctors reported today that her condition is not serious and expect to release her some time next week.

No release date has been set for any of the other septuplets. A hospital spokesperson stated last week that the babies must reach developmental milestones before they can be discharged from the hospital. These include breathing and eating reliably and without mechanical assistance. They also must be at least 5 pounds, a level which all the septuplets are close to reaching.

Weighing between 2 and 3 pounds at their birth, the smallest of the girls, Megan, now weighs 4 pounds, 10 ounces. Megan was also the smallest at birth. She faced the most serious problems in the week after their delivery, including a serious lung disease. Doctors continue to closely monitor the condition of her lungs. Megan was the last to be taken off of a ventilator and had to be put back on breathing assistance in the past week, but Dr. Sandra Pilirez of the Sinai NICU, said this was not a major setback.

"We are still extremely pleased with Megan's progress so far," Dr. Pilirez said.

Mary, the septuplet who was released today, had similar lung problems early on, though hers were not as serious as Megan's.

Another septuplet who had serious trouble early on was Molly, but Dr. Pilirez said that Molly's condition is now among the best of the seven.

The original due date for the septuplets—that is, the day they would have been born if the pregnancy had lasted a full 40 week term—was earlier this week. Premature babies are generally expected to stay in the hospital until close to their due date. Dr, Pilirez said that they are not concerned that only one of the septuplets has been released by now.

"Each case is unique," she said. "Looking at this case alone, we are pleased with where all the babies are now."

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The Carlson Septuplets, characters, and stories © 1994-2006 by Jessie Mannisto.