Damian Dovarganes/AP
Mike Fleeman and Howard Breuer
January 27, 2009 02:30 PM

Call it a big baby boom: the octuplets born to a Southern California woman all arrived in a frantic five-minute span.

That’s one baby about every 36 seconds.

“We were all very excited because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the whole staff,” Dr. Veena Manchanda, an athesiologist who was among the team at Kaiser Permanante in Bellflower, Calif., for the delivery Monday.

The mother has not been identified, nor have the babies names, but the timeline went like this:

• Baby 1: 10:43 a.m., a boy weighing 2 pounds, 11 ounces
• Baby 2: 10:44 a.m., a girl weighing 2 lbs., 12 oz.
• Baby 3: 10:45 a.m., a boy weighing 3 lbs., 4 oz.
• Baby 4: 10:45 a.m., a girl weighing 2 lbs., 8 oz.
• Baby 5: 10:46 a.m., a boy weighing 1 lb., 8 oz.
• Baby 6: 10:47 a.m., a boy weighing 2 lbs, 12 oz.
• Baby 7: 10:47 a.m., a boy weighing 1 lb., 15 oz.
• Baby 8: 10:48 a.m., a boy weighing 2 lbs. 11 oz.

“The chances for these babies, they are very good,” Dr. Mandhir Gupta, the neonatologist, tells PEOPLE. “The first three to seven days are critical, and after that, we have a better understanding of what the long-term prospects are for survival and complications.”

“It’s a surprise,” adds Dr. Karen Maples. “Eight newborns are in stable condition and they’re doing quite well.”

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