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QUINTUPLETS: 5 babies born with 5 minutes

By Georgiann Caruso

(CNN) — Their mother calls them “five tiny bundles of perfection.”

A set of quintuplets — among the first sets delivered nationally so far this year — were in stable condition after being born to missionaries Carrie and Gavin Jones at Dallas’ UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Three boys and two girls — Will Edward, David Stephen, Marcie Jane, Seth Jared and Grace Elise — remained in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Paul’s University Hospital, part of the medical center complex.

While in stable condition, the siblings likely will remain hospitalized for several months until they reach weight, post-birth age and health markers.

Born Thursday, the five ranged in weight from 1 pound 12 ounces to 2 pounds 11 ounces and in length from 12.5 inches to 15.5 inches.

“For all the anxiety that a quintuplet pregnancy generates, Carrie and Gavin are the perfect couple of have held it together,” said Dr. Patricia Santiago-Munoz, who delivered the babies in four minutes, according to the hospital. “A birth like this takes a village.”

That it did — a team of more than 50 specialists, nurses, therapists and technicians assisted Santiago-Munoz, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

Medical teams planned for the births for months, even designating a special “Code 5″ designation, handing out pagers to staff and developing a color-coded system to match each baby with his or her needed supplies. Weekly drills were held to prepare for the births, the hospital said.

On average, about 12 sets of quintuplets are born each year, according to the hospital. In 2009, the CDC recorded 16 sets.

Gavin Jones, 35, is a helicopter pilot. He, his wife and the couple’s 8-year-old son Isaac serve as missionaries in the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea, according to the hospital.

The couple chronicled the pregnancy and documented the babies’ births on their blog, and continue to offer updates on the babies’ medical conditions and progress.

Seth, for instance, has battled breathing difficulties, his parents said. “Seth’s left lung is better,” according to a Sunday blog post. “Now they are trying to inflate his right lung.”

Each baby is assigned his or her own medical team, the hospital said, including a neonatologist, neonatal nurse practitioners, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and radiology technicians.

“The infants are doing as expected for quintuplets born at 27 weeks,” said Dr. Gary Burgess, medical director of the NICU.

The Joneses said on their blog that it’s “an emotional time” and “with five babies at different stages of wellness, it’s quite a roller coaster around here.”

“I am so in love with these five tiny bundles of perfection,” Carrie Jones posted. “Obviously, my favorite times of the day are those I spend in the NICU.”

“We have been blown away by the outpouring of prayers and support for us through this unexpected journey,” Gavin Jones said in a statement. “We are especially grateful to the team of professionals at UTSW who have gone beyond the call of duty in preparing for the babies and caring for Carrie. They have been amazing.”

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