A woman in Southern California gave birth Monday to the second set of octuplets ever delivered alive in the United States. Doctors say that the six boys and two girls as a feisty bunch who made their entrance kicking and crying and seemed to be doing remarkably well, despite arriving nine weeks premature. They ranged in weight from 1 pound, 8 ounces (0.67 kilograms), to 3 pounds, 4 ounces (1.47 kilograms). "We were fortunate that this patient was extremely strong, very courageous and able to handle these births," said Dr. Karen E. Maples, who is chief of service for obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center and delivered Baby No. 8. No pictures of the children were released, and at the mother's request doctors declined to reveal her name, any information about her family or whether she took fertility drugs before becoming pregnant, though outside experts said it is almost certain she did.