For anyone that’s gone through pregnancy, even carrying one child is tough. Twins, and you’ve got your work cut out for you. But nine babies? In the one pregnancy? We’d never heard of such. thing. But as has been reported today by the BBC, a 25-year-old Malian woman has in fact given birth to nine children - two more than doctors had initially detected during scans and wow, wasn’t that a surprise.
Halima Cisse gave birth to the nonuplets in Morocco after being flown to specialist care there from Mali by the government. Her husband told the publication, “I’m very happy. My wife and the babies [five girls and four boys] are doing well.”
Previously, the record when it came to babies due at once during childbirth was eight, with the renowned octo-mum holding the US Guiness World Record for most children delivered at a single birth to survive back in 2009. If ever you wanted to feel old, just known that record holder Nadya Suleman’s octuplets have since grown up and are 12-years-old now.
Tragically, there have been two incidents of nonuplets previously being born, one to a woman in Australia in 1971 and another to a woman in Malaysia in 1999, but in both instances the babies didn’t survive more than just a few days.
Mali’s health minister, Fanta Siby, has congratulated the medical teams in Mali and Morocco for the “happy outcome.” The government intervened with the childbirth when news of Cisse’s pregnancy became known, even though it was only thought that she was carrying septuplets then. With doctors in the West African nation concerned for her welfare and the babies’ survival, the government had her flown to Morocco for specialist care. After five weeks at the Moroccan clinic, she gave birth by Caesarean section on Tuesday.
Her husband, Adjudant Kader Arby, was thrilled with the outcome and though he remained in Mali with the couple’s older daughter, he has been in constant contact with his wife. He told the BBC, “God gave us these children. He is the one to decide what will happen to them. I’m not worried about that. When the almighty does something, he knows why.”
He added that the family has been overwhelmed with support from people near and far. “Everybody called me! Everybody called! The Malian authorities called expressing their joy. I thank them…Even the president called me.”
Cisse and her nine new children are expected to return home in several weeks after ensuring her health and safety.