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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Now they need 5 boys names
The "big ultrasound" is a little, um, one-sided, putting a good scare in the expecting mother.
By LISA BUIE
Published June 14, 2007
WESLEY CHAPEL - Until now, they have been known as babies A, B, C, D, E and F.
This week the Byler sextuplets are no longer alphabet babies. Mom Karoline and dad Ben can start coming up with some actual names.
On Monday, Karoline had what many moms-to-be refer to in online forums as "the big ultrasound." Although the primary purpose for the screening is to make sure the babies are healthy - they were - the exciting part comes when the technician can point to certain body parts or their absence and say "it's a boy" or "it's a girl."
Karoline, Ben, two nurses and the obstetrician, Dr. Karen Raimer, piled into the tiny exam room at Bayfront Medical Center for the first opportunity to find out the genders.
It's not always possible. A lot depends on how a baby is positioned.
The suspense mounted as the nurse spread the warm gel across Karoline's belly and turned on the machine.
The identification process started at the bottom, where Baby A nestled.
They saw everything, from the brain to the spine, to the kidneys to the legs and toes to the tiny hands. All appeared normal.
Last came the gender. Did they want to know?
"Yes, " Karoline said.
A boy. They had picked out one boy name, Brady Christopher, so that was good.
On to Baby B. Same drill.
And Baby C?
Same for Baby D.
"I thought, 'The next two have to be girls, ' " said Karoline, 29, who was envisioning a 4-2 split.
Next came Baby E. Karoline, by now watching the screen intently, knew what to look for this time.
"I'm not a doctor, but I see a penis, " she said.
By this time, Karoline, said she was in shock. Ben, on the other hand, was excited at the idea of having enough boys someday for a basketball team.
What if all six were boys?
"Six boys would be craziness, " Karoline said. "I kept saying, 'I cannot, I cannot, I cannot have six boys.' " She imagined her future grocery bills and panicked inside.
The image of Baby F on the screen had the doctor shouting.
"It's a girl! It's a girl! We have our princess!"
At a glance
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For previous stories about the Bylers, visit pasco.tampabay.com.