The big moment was finally here: New mom Arlette was ready to deliver her babies. A team of physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists, fellows, and nurse technicians was ready and in their assigned positions in a labor and delivery room at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
For the first time since 1992, NewYork-Presbyterian was about to deliver quintuplets — a rarity, with fewer than 50 cases recorded in the U.S. in 2017, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On February 26, 2019, out the babies came — boy, boy, girl, girl, boy!
Arlette delivered all five by cesarean section at 30 weeks and 2 days. Weighing in at 2 to 3 pounds each — Thiago, 3 pounds even; Montserrat and Mathias, both 2 pounds 8 ounces; Sophia, 2 pounds 6 ounces; and Sebastian, 2 pounds even — they were taken to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) immediately to be closely monitored.
The days leading up to delivery and the day of took considerable planning and preparation and was a true team effort, led by Dr. Chia-Ling Nhan-Chang, maternal-fetal medicine expert at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and the family’s OB-GYN.
“We are honored that the Rivera family chose us to be a part of their journey to start a family. Arlette’s positive attitude helped her stay active and healthy until the third trimester,” says Dr. Nhan-Chang, who is also an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “It was a remarkable multidisciplinary team endeavor that resulted in the delivery of five healthy babies at 30 weeks, well beyond the average gestational age of delivery for quintuplets. We couldn’t be happier for them. There wasn’t a dry eye in the delivery room.”