CASABLANCA, MARRIAGE — “I’m extremely delighted to be carrying my child,” Halima Cissé, 26, said ABC News as she held infant Muhammad, one of the nine newborns who broke the Guinness record for the most babies delivered in one delivery.
Cissé, who already had a daughter, gave birth to nine children on May 5th. “All of the kids are doing OK,” said Dr. El Alaoui, the clinic’s director.
At the clinic Ain Borja in Casablanca, Morocco, four boys called Muhammad, Bah, El Hadj, and Oumar, as well as five girls named Adama, Hawa, Fatouma, Oumou, and Kadidia, are being cared for.
Cissé, a 26-year-old student, and Abdelkader Arby, a 35-year-old Malian army adjudant, both say they have always desired children. “Everyone desires children… I would not have believed it if they had told me that I, Abdelkader Arby, would one day be the father of nine children “‘I told ABC News,’ he said.
The parents see the unusual birth as a “gift from God,” but admit that the “obligation is tremendous.”
Authorities facilitated Cissé’s relocation from Bamako, Mali, to the facility Ain Borja in Morocco, where she got specialized care after an OB-GYN consultation revealed she was carrying seven babies.
The clinic had planned for an uncommon birth of seven, but two more were discovered during the procedure.
“A lot of things were running through my head,” Cissé told ABC News, “anxiety for myself, concern for my kids, how everything was going to unfold.”
El Alaoui, the director of the Ain Borja clinic, told ABC News that they sought to postpone the delivery as long as possible to give the kids the best chance possible.
Cissé spent a month in the clinic on her back before the birth, nearly losing her life due to blood loss and having to be operated on after the delivery. She recalls the terrible nights when she couldn’t sleep on her side until she was 30 weeks pregnant, when she gave birth.
“We felt, if we can rescue four or five youngsters, that’s not awful,” El Alaoui added.
The birth of nine children is a very unusual occurrence. Only two additional cases have been documented, one in Australia in 1971 and the other in Malaysia in 1999. Cissé, on the other hand, is the first nonuplet to be born alive.
“They take care of [the nonuplets] like it’s our own children,” said Soumia Arkoubi, the clinic’s chief nurse, adding that “it will be painful to see them depart.”
The nine bundles of joy go through approximately 75 diapers a day and 100 bottles of milk at the clinic, where they are changed every three hours.
Nadya Suleman of the United States, dubbed “Octomom,” holds the current Guinness World Record for having given birth to eight children after undergoing IVF treatment.
Cissé’s children, on the other hand, were conceived organically, according to Cissé’s parents and the medical team at Ain Borja.
The babies were all born early, with the tiniest weighing barely one pound.
They’ll have to stay in the clinic’s newborn care for at least another month before they can meet their older sister in Mali.