The long-awaited hand-off between neonatal nurses at Kaiser Permanante Medical Center and octuplet mother Nadya Suleman has started.
Two of Suleman’s healthiest and heaviest infants – sons Noah, weighing 5 lbs., 13 oz, and Isaiah, weighing 5 lbs. – were allowed to leave the Bellflower, Calif., hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
“This is a happy moment for everyone – the family, physicians, nurses and entire NICU staff,” says Dr. Mandhir Gupta. “It is always rewarding whenever a premature infant goes home as a healthy baby.”
Both babies could drink from a bottle, are gaining weight and are able to maintain their body temperature, the hospital says in a statement.
“After several home visits Kaiser Permanente determined that Ms. Suleman has safe housing, sufficient child care support and the supplies and equipment needed to care for the first two octuplets,” says the statement. “The remaining six babies continue to progress well and remain at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center. All continue gaining weight and remain on either formula or donated pasteurized breast milk.”
“I’m anxious, but I’m ready,” Suleman tells PEOPLE. “I’m excited to start getting all my family under one roof so I can get on with being a mother.”
Since her six other children are still residing at her mother’s home in nearby Whittier, Suleman – who says she regularly gets by on two hours sleep – was preparing to dedicate herself to her newborns on the first night.
Two pediatric nurses from the non-profit group Angels In Waiting, along with two recently hired nannies, will be on hand to help out should she need it. But Suleman insists, “I really want to do all this by myself.”
Officials at Kaiser Permanente will reportedly release two more infants in a week.
Suleman’s six older children are expected to move into their new home by this weekend, shortly after the backyard is replaced with AstroTurf and a climbing wall is installed.
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