They say “Eight is Enough,” but one Queens family is discovering what life is like for nine, including six babies.
Digna Carpio and her husband Victor are only the second couple in New York City to welcome sextuplets. The babies -- four boys and two girls -- were born in a span of four minutes on October 6, 2008, via Caesarean section. Each weighed less than two pounds and doctors were not optimistic that they 'd all pull through.
“The doctor did not even want to talk about their chances for survival,” said Victor Carpio. “He said it’s just day by day, we have to keep following the days.”
Well, days turned to weeks, which turned to months, and now the babies are up to 12 pounds and growing. Joel, Genesis, Jezreel, Justin, and Danelia were the first to come home. Jaden, the last to be born, was also the last to join his family at his Whitestone, Queens, home in March.
"I'm very, very happy, “ said Digna Carpio. “Because they are very healthy and that's very important for me."
The 31-year-old mother carried the babies six months. Even while pregnant, doctors told her that chances were slim that all the babies would survive because of Carpio’s small stature. Because the babies overcame the odds, they are now dubbed New York’s miracle sextuplets. And Digna will spend her first Mother’s Day with all of her children at home.
But growing from a family of three (Victor, Digna, and their 7-year-old son Jhancarlos), to a family of nine poses challenges, both economically and spatially. The Carpios go through about 40 bottles of milk and 50 diapers a day. And they are quickly outgrowing their three-bedroom house. The nursery is crammed with three cribs, but the babies will soon need beds.
The proud parents are amazed at the outpouring of support from the public, the result of an appeal from their local Councilman Tony Avella, D-Queens, but they know they will need more help in the future.
Victor, who works for the New York City Housing Authority, fell victim to budget cutbacks and was transferred to a lower-paying job. Digna had to quit her job as a bank teller to take care of the children.
Despite their challenges, though, they remain optimistic, "If you love your babies, it doesn't matter how hard is the job."
If you would like to make donations to the Carpio Family, you can send them to the following address:
Digna and Victor Carpio
P.O. Box 570105
Whitestone, NY 11357