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Michigan couple Van Houten settling in with sextupulets

Tiny babies doing well

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

HAMILTON, Michigan – The year 2004 has been extraordinary for Amy and Ben Van Houten. The couple became parents of premature sextupulets over a period of ten days early January. All six babies remained in neonatal care for up to four months. The Van Houtens say their lives are not as hectic as most people assume.

The four sons and two daughters, born over four months early, came home over a period of six weeks. Although there remain some medical issues, baby John has a retina problem and baby Gerrit required gastric surgery to keep his food down, they all already have been sleeping through the night for months.

The family, which had massive media attention at first, expects that the sextupulets’ first birthdays will generate up more publicity. The number of requests for interviews has subsided significantly. Van Houten works on machines for a product-testing company while his wife, a teacher, now is a stay-at-home mom.

The Van Houtens receive a lot of help from eager baby sitters and maintain their regular social activities. They also received a huge supply of diapers, food, formula, clothing, toys and money toward building a larger house. They are not sure yet when work will begin on a four-bedroom, three-bathroom, 3,100 square feet house.

The sextupulets each already has a distinctive personality, ranging from the cuddly Gerrit to the aggressive leader Kennedy. Peyton is serious, Samatha smiles a lot, Nolan is laid-back and the once cranky John, laughs a lot. They measured at birth between 1 pound and 4 ounces, up to 2 pounds and 1 ounce. The heaviest of the six now weighs 21 pounds, the lightest 14.