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Not cheaper by the half dozen

Mom, Mandy Booth Mom, Mandy Booth

January 19, 2004

Albany - A Michigan couple gained a full house quickly - with the birth of sextuplets.

For most of us, the thought of taking care of six babies at once is a nightmare. But one Albany woman knows what the new mother is facing, or at least half knows.

Jake, Gracie, and Annie - The Booth Triplets keep mom running. "Chaos is the first word that came to mind," laughed Mandy Booth.

Mandy Booth and her husband Jay brought home the trio nearly a year ago. Each weighed less than 3 pounds 3 ounces. "My husband could take his wedding ring and run it up their entire arm."

The Van Houten sextuplets weigh even less. The smallest is just 1 pound 4 ounces. "They can still survive even smaller than two pounds. It's a miracle," said Booth.

A miracle Mandy has experienced. She almost died during childbirth, and her babies stayed in the hospital for weeks. "I was extremely nervous. I was scared to death." But, the babies and mom made it home healthy and that's when the chaos began.

Three times the feedings. "Bottles I do one at a time, and the other two just have to wait." Three times the diapers. "5 a piece, we go through 15 diapers a day."

"It's also been a lot of sleep deprivation," said Booth. Something amazing happened about two weeks ago, Jake, Gracie, and Annie slept through the night. That was the first time Mandy has gotten more than 4 hours of sleep in a year. Now double the Booth's challenges, and you have the Van Houten half dozen.

"I can't even imagine. My advice to her would be anyone, even in passing, that says they'll help get there name and number and call them. Don't turn down any help," said booth.

But despite the fact that it takes Mandy almost 15 minutes just to get the kids in the car, she's enjoying three times the smiles and triple the love.

The Booth triplets will turn 1 year-old on Saturday. They were born a minute apart from one another. Amazingly, the Van Houten sextuplets were born 11 days apart.

Posted at 4:25PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com