Wichita — Sextuplets born to a Kansas couple continue to grow stronger each day, with just one infant still on a respirator, the hospital said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, their parents, for the first time, faced the worldwide interest that the births have generated.
The three boys and three girls were born Saturday via Caesarean section to Sondra Headrick, 33, and her husband Eldon, 32.
On Tuesday, Eldon Headrick publicly thanked his wife. "She sacrificed her own comfort, her health, and potentially, her life," he said. "She is very special."
The Headricks live about 40 miles west of Wichita in the town of Rago, which until Saturday had a population of 12.
Their babies Â Ethan Roy, Melissa Sue, Grant Douglas, Sean Edward, Jaycie Linette and Danielle Patrice Â are expected to remain at Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Joseph for four to five weeks.
Five of them were already taking breast milk from a feeding tube. The last baby still on the respirator, Jaycie, could be weaned from the machine as early as today, Dr. Katherine Schooley said.
The Headricks, who were already parents of a 4-year-old daughter named Aubrianna, used fertility drugs before conception of the sextuplets.
Mrs. Headrick carried the children for 31 weeks, the longest any woman in the United States has carried sextuplets, the hospital said. A full pregnancy is 40 weeks.
Each baby weighed between 2 pounds, 10 ounces and 3 pounds, 11 ounces at birth.
Sondra Headrick told reporters that it is hard for her to look at all the babies now and realize they all once fit inside her.