Monday was going to be a big day for a woman at a California hospital set to deliver septuplets — seven babies at once. It had only happened three or four times before in the United States.

Mother and the team of 46 doctors and assistants had prepared for weeks, and the rehearsals paid off. The babies were delivered flawlessly by Caesarean section.

But, after the seventh baby was delivered – there was a surprise.

"Wait a minute, I think I feel a hand," Dr. Alejandro Vasquez.

The woman delivered eight babies: octuplets. It's thought to be only the second time in the country, according to a statement from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

"What a shocker this was," said Dr. Mary Maples, who helped with the delivery.

The babies as they came out:

  • 10:43 a.m. Baby A, a boy, weighing 2 pounds, 11 ounces
  • 10:44 a.m. Baby B, a girl, weighing 2 pounds, 12 ounces
  • 10:45 a.m. Baby C, a boy, weighing 3 pounds 4 ounces –the largest of the children
  • 10:45 a.m. Baby D, a girl, weighing 2 pounds 8 ounces
  • 10:46 a.m. Baby E, a boy, weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces
  • 10:47 a.m. Baby F, a boy, weighing 2 pounds, 12 ounces
  • 10:47 a.m. Baby G, a boy, weighing 1 pound, 15 ounces
  • 10:48 a.m. Baby H, a boy who had been hiding from the ultrasound; he weighed 2 pounds,11 ounces

The delivery team used four operating rooms for the delivery and immediate care of the children. The hand-off from the delivery to the immediate care team went just the way the team had practiced.

"It went flawlessly," Henry said.

The six boys and two girls each cried spontaneously after birth — always a good sign, according to the doctors. The babies are reported to be doing well, the medical center announced yesterday, noting that the first 72 hours are the most critical.