A Day With Dad: My Extraordinary Experience Of Becoming A Father Of Sextuplets
If you would have asked me about being a father a year ago, I would have told you I didn’t think it would ever happen. But, after months of fertility and a pretty uneventful pregnancy aside from the obvious complications of carrying multiples, I can say that I am so blessed to be celebrating father’s day this year.
For me, fatherhood officially began on April 23, 2012 when my wife, Lauren, and I were blessed with 6 children: Andrew, Benjamin, Levi, Allison, Caroline and Leah. Since the day we learned we were having sextuplets, the experience has been both extraordinary and overwhelming and those feelings have not gone away, even today. On that Monday morning when I became a first-time dad to 6 little preemies, I remember my heart beating like crazy. It was an experience I will never forget. I was excited and overwhelmed all wrapped into one but also very concerned for both Lauren and our children because giving birth to sextuplets is considered a very high-risk situation. And, adding the media frenzy on top of all of this was a truly surreal experience for both of us who honestly didn’t feel anyone would truly be interested in our family’s little story. Boy, were we wrong!
I was overjoyed to finally meet my 6 children and I’ve loved being able to witness them growing stronger and healthier each day. While all 6 were in the NICU, my favorite moments were when we were able to hold them, dress them and give them their pacifiers. Two weeks ago, we learned that we would be able to take Benjamin and Caroline home. What a blessing! Our third, Andrew, is scheduled to come home this week and Levi, Allison and Leah will remain in the NICU at the Pavilion. Each day, we visit them and pray that they will continue to grow strong enough to join their siblings at home. During the last 8 weeks, and our many trips between home and the Texas Children’s Pavilion NICU, being a father has provided quite a few adjustments to my previous life. It has been a roller coaster, full of small victories, setbacks and lessons in patience. I am so grateful for the progress our babies have made thus far and the chance I have to be a father to each one of them. I can’t wait to spend time with each of them and getting to know them as individuals. I know everyone wants to know what I think it will be like when they are all home. My truthful answer… I don’t know what to expect. I know it will be crazy but both Lauren and I are very organized and know we will be able to make it work. Our marriage is strong and we have a lot of faith in God and know he will get us through the first year which we have been told will go by in a flash. I know it is not going to be easy and we will have to have help. Words can’t express how appreciative Lauren and I feel for the help and support from our family and friends who have set up volunteer schedules to assist us at home.
So, on my first father’s day, I feel such a sense of gratitude to everyone who has followed our story and has supported us including my own father and father-in-law who have been there every step of the way. View this Facebook Photo Album to see more photos of the Perkins sextuplets.