Last year, Halima Cissé, 25, from Mali, was a mother of one. This year, she’s mother to 10, and may be the new record-holder for number of live births at one time.
Cissé was reportedly expecting seven babies — still a staggering number with terrifying physical ramifications to anyone who’s ever been pregnant, but apparently there were two more for a total of nine when the C-section took place on Tuesday.
Since there were insufficient resources to help Cissé with her unusual pregnancy, the Malian government helped pay for her to go to a private clinic in Morocco, where she could get better care.
Professor Youssef Alaoui, medical director at the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, Morocco, and his team received Cissé when she was about 25 weeks pregnant and did their best to get her as far along as they could.
At 30 weeks, she gave birth by C-section to four boys and five girls, each one weighing between 1.1 and 2.2 pounds.
Adjudant Kader Arby, Cissé’s husband, stayed at home in Mali with their daughter, but was excited to announce the news of his childrens’ arrival.
“I’m very happy,” Arby told the BBC. “My wife and the babies are doing well.
“Everybody called me! Everybody called! The Malian authorities called expressing their joy. I thank them. … Even the president called me.”
“The newborns and the mother are all doing well,” Dr. Fanta Siby, the health minister of Mali, said, according to NPR.
Cissé was kept in intensive care after severely hemorrhaging, but doctors were able to keep her stable. It took a team of over 30 people to help deliver her babies and care for them.
Alaoui told The Associated Press that the mother hadn’t used fertility treatments, “as far as he was aware,” but either way, nine babies is a record-breaking number.
The last holder of that title was Nadya Suleman, often referred to as “Octomom,” who gave birth to octuplets in 2009. The Guinness World Records will be looking into Cissé’s case in the future to see if she will be the new bearer of that title.
According to NPR, a representative for the Guinness World Records said “we are yet to verify this as a record as the wellbeing of both the mother and babies are of top priority,” and they have a specialist working on the case.
Despite how overwhelmed most fathers would be at the news that they will be adding nine children to their family in one fell swoop, Arby said that the family has received a lot of support and seems rather optimistic.
“God gave us these children,” he said. “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.”
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