Halima Cisse, the 26-year-old Malian woman who set a world record after she gave birth to nine babies at the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, Morocco, has opened up about the experience.
Cisse was thought to be carrying seven babies, however, she gave birth to nonuplets after she was flown from Mali to Morocco for a C-section in May.
The babies had to stay in the NICU for the first few months of their lives. They were taken off incubators in August but they are still being monitored by the doctors. The family has been living in a house near the hospital.
““Giving birth to one child is hard enough but having nine is unimaginable. It’s astonishing the amount of work that is involved in looking after them. I’m grateful to the medical team that are doing all the hard work and the Government of Mali for funding this,” Cisse told Daily Mail.
The boys are named – Oumar, Elhadji, Bah and Mohammed VI, and the girls are named – Adama, Oumou, Hawa, Kadidia, and Fatouma.
Cisse who has been changing 100 nappies a day and feeding six litres of milk to her babies had earlier said that she was too tired to look after them. She is gaining back her strength now.
Recalling the time of giving birth, she said, “As the babies were coming out, there were so many questions going through my mind. I was very aware of what was going on and it seemed as if there was an endless stream of babies coming out of me.”
She added, “My sister was holding my hand but all I could think about was how would I look after them and who was going to help me?”
Doctors estimated that Cisse’s belly alone weighed around 30 kilograms. She almost died from blood loss during the delivery.
Cisse’s partner Kader Arby, 35, who was unable to travel with her due to COVID-19 restriction, arrived in Morocco on July 9.
The care bill is approaching £1 million (Rs 10.3 crore) and most of it has been taken care of by the Malian government.
The babies have now gained weight and would be returning to their home in Mali soon.
The couple has a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter who is being looked after by the family’s relatives.
“There is plenty of us to worry about, but we are mainly full of positive thoughts. We are primarily focused on looking after our babies and getting them home. At the moment we have full-time care, and that’s a blessing because my wife needs the rest,” Kader said.