The world’s only nonuplets have celebrated their first birthday!
Halima Cissé and her husband Abdelkader Arby welcomed 9 thriving babies: five girls and four boys, weighing between just 1.1 and 2.4 pounds, at the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, Morocco on May 4 last year. The babies were born in the 30th week of pregnancy, and although they are still under hospital observation, their father says they are in excellent health. Four boys and five girls in Mali — the Guinness World Record-breaking nonuplets — celebrated a very important milestone this week: their first birthday. Mom Who Gave Birth to 9 Thriving Babies Calls Them ‘Gifts From God’
Doctors initially believed she was only having seven children.
“So, you can imagine our surprise when we discovered nine of them during the birth,” said Casablanca Ain Borja Clinic’s Dr. Youssef Alaoui. “Luckily this didn’t faze us, since we have one of the largest neonatal resuscitation services in Morocco. Our teams were ready to welcome these children into the world and able to treat them in the best conditions.” A team of 10 doctors and 25 paramedics had assisted at the delivery of the premature babies.
They weighed between 500g and 1kg (1.1lb and 2.2lb) and would be kept in incubators “for two to three months”, he said.
Ahead of the birth, Cissé was flown to Morocco by the Malian government for specialist care and the authorities continue to support the family from a distance.
She and her nine offspring are being take care of in a kind of medicalised flat belonging to the owners of the private Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca where the babies were born.
Dr Khalid Mseif has been monitoring them from birth.
“The parents have been helped from the outset,” he told RFI. “Nurses come and help them because it’s not easy to take care of nine babies at the same time. It’s very hard, a lot of work.” The babies have had “the usual problems affecting infants in their first year: bronchiolitis, bronchitis. But in principle everything’s going well and they haven’t had many health problems.
Twelve months on, and the nine miracle babies are thriving and reaching developmental milestones, their father, Arby, shared.
“They’re all crawling now. Some are sitting up and can even walk if they hold on to something,” he told the BBC.
Discussing his experience of raising the babies as well as their three-year-old daughter Souda, Arby said that while it’s “not easy,” it was great to see “all the babies in perfect health, (in a line) from right to left, we’re relieved. We forget everything.”
“Nothing is better than the first year,” Arby said. “We will remember this great moment we are going to experience.”
Arby and Cissé held a small birthday party for daughters: Kadidia, Fatouma, Hawa, Adama, and Oumou, and sons: Mohammed VI, Oumar, Elhadji, and Bah.
“They’re all crawling now. Some are sitting up and can even walk if they hold onto something,” said Arby.
While the father says it can definitely be tiring caring for 10 children, he says he is thankful for his family:
“It’s not easy, but it’s great.”
Before the nonuplets came along, the world record for the largest set of surviving multiples born was held by “Octomom” Nadya Suleman’s eight children. Mom Who Gave Birth to 9 Thriving Babies Calls Them ‘Gifts From God’