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Boy, Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy, Oh boy _ Mom Gives Birth To Quints

August 9, 1996 GMT

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) _ The members of America’s newest Dream Team don’t dunk, but they do dribble.

Amy Guttensohn gave birth Thursday night to quintuplets _ five bouncing baby boys. All were doing well at Baptist Medical Center in Montgomery.

The babies are the first set of all-male quintuplets to be born in the United States, said Dr. John L. Kiely at the National Center for Health Statistics in Baltimore.

Combined, they couldn’t weigh much more than Shaquille O’Neal’s left foot, but they figure to be a formidable group to care for in the family’s modest four-bedroom home in east Montgomery.

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``We’ve sort of been weaned slowly onto the idea of having so many,″ said Eric Guttensohn, 30, who wore a large name tag that read `I’m the Dad,′ at a hospital news conference Friday. ``At first they said it would be two. Then they said it would be four. By the time they found a fifth, it didn’t seem like too big a deal.″

Mason Fielder, Eric Tanner, Hunter Christian, Parker Allen and Taylor James Guttensohn all weigh between 2 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces and 2 pounds, 14 ounces.

The largest, Mason, rested in a small bed in the postnatal unit, wearing a diaper and a pink knit cap. The rest of the boys were still sleeping under oxygen bubbles to help them breathe while their small lungs continue to develop. The boys were born in their 29th week, about seven weeks premature.

Doctors say they don’t expect any major medical problems over the next four to eight weeks in the hospital.

Mrs. Guttensohn, 28, will get to go home in a few days. She had been in the hospital for about a month before the births after going through in-vitro fertilization.

The procedure was necessary because Mrs. Guttensohn had scar tissue that blocked the passage of eggs between her ovaries and womb.

She was given fertility pills to increase her egg production from one or two to several per month. When the eggs developed, doctors used a syringe to extract them from her ovary.

The eggs were fertilized, then four were injected into Mrs. Guttensohn’s womb. Obstetrician C. Dent Williams, who oversaw the Caesarean births of the five boys, said multiple eggs were injected because the survival rate in in-vitro fertilization is only around 20 percent.

None of the eggs survived on the Guttensohns’ first try, but a second effort a month later netted a jackpot, four-for-four. Then, one of the eggs split to produce identical twins. It’s still too early to tell which of the boys are identical.

Guttensohn said he plans to take time off from his job as a program coordinator for the state’s juvenile court system to help care for the babies. He said his wife will likely quit her job as secretary for the music program at their church to become a ``full-time mom. An overtime mom, really.″

The grandparents said they plan to help, too.

``It will be a production, but we’ll figure it out when they get home,″ said Wynona Fielder, Mrs. Guttensohn’s mother, as she stood near the observation window, watching the quints sleep.

Down the hall, Mrs. Fielder’s 6-foot-4 husband was talking about his side of the family’s long, lean bone structure.

Could the 2016 Olympic hoops team be laying in front of their eyes? Probably not, says their dad.

``If they’re as coordinated as their father, they won’t be interested in sports at all,″ he said. ``But we’ll support them whatever they want to do.″