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An Iowa woman was hospitalized Wednesday as she waited to give birth to seven babies -- which would be the nation's first set of septuplets since 1985.

The 29-year-old woman was identified only as "Bobbi" from Carlisle, a town of 3,200 about 10 miles southeast of Des Moines.

The family has asked media to conceal their last name until after the births.

The father told KCCI-TV the four boys and three girls were in their 28th week of development and the births could come "as early as next week sometime and as late as probably in a couple more weeks."

"We know that they're all over 2 pounds," he said. "The doctors have said 28 weeks is a magic line and after 28 weeks their chances of surviving are really, really great."

He said the doctors offered to abort some of the fetuses early in the pregnancy to improve the chances of survival for the others, but they "decided to let God decide the outcome and give all seven an equal chance."

There are no known living sets of septuplets in the world.

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