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NC woman delivers quints at AZ hospital

Posted at 2:05 PM, Sep 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-09-08 12:15:56-04

By Adam Longo, KPHO

MESA, Arizona (KPHO) – A woman from Wilmington, NC, became the 13th mother to deliver quintuplets at Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa.

Carmen and Mike Matthews were on quite a ride even before the babies were born Thursday morning.

“It was a surprise, yeah,” said Carmen, 33, while giggling.

She and her husband found out they were expecting a child in February on Super Bowl Sunday. They saw a doctor the next day and followed up with several more appointments.

“Went back on the following Monday and saw five heartbeats. Told the doctor we wouldn’t be coming to see him anymore,” said Mike Matthews as his family broke into laughter.

At 18 weeks pregnant, Carmen Matthews left North Carolina with her father and moved temporarily to Laguna Hills, CA, to use the services of nationally known perinatologist John Elliott.

Shortly thereafter, Elliott returned to Cardon, part of the Banner Health system, and the

Carmen went to 34 weeks before giving birth.
Three boys and two girls with a total weight of 18.4 pounds. (Source:

Matthews followed suit.

The babies were born Tuesday between 7:25 and 7:27 am.

From oldest to youngest (relatively speaking):

  • Lorna Brenn, girl, 4 lbs., 3 oz.
  • Layton Cooper, boy, 4 lbs., 13 oz.
  • Carleigh Sue, girl, 3 lbs., 10 oz.
  • Rucker Mitchell, boy, 2 lbs., 2 oz.
  • Eason John, boy, 3 lbs., 12 oz.

Carmen hasn’t spent much time with the babies yet, but she, her husband and doctors spent about 20 minutes with reporters Friday talking about the experience.

“I’m excited to start being a mom and feeding them and changing diapers,” she said.

The couple has sought the advice of other parents with multiple children who were born at once.

“Potty training is up there with the worst,” said Mike Matthews with a laugh. “Especially the boys. That’s what we’ve heard.”

Banner Health is gaining a reputation of being one of the premier organizations to handle multiple births.

No other hospital in the world has delivered more than one set of quintuplets.

Elliott has delivered 13.

“We can inspire the mother into trusting us that things will go well,” Elliott said.

The average gestation time for quintuplets is 28 weeks. Carmen went to 34 weeks before giving birth to three boys and two girls with a total weight of 18.4 pounds.

“Sore,” responds Carmen about how she is feeling. “It’s a lot more painful than I expected .”

They’re still getting their home ready back in Wilmington. Right now, though, their priority is rest.

“So, what’s next the rest of the day?” they were asked after the press conference. “Naps,” they respond in unison with a chuckle.

Doctors said they’ll have at least another two to three weeks in Mesa in the hospital before they’ll be able to take their new family back home.