'I thought it would be only seven': Mom of nine shares her 'unimaginable' birth story

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
"The nonuplets remain in incubators in an intensive care unit." Photo: Supplied/AFP via Getty Images
"The nonuplets remain in incubators in an intensive care unit." Photo: Supplied/AFP via Getty Images

Halime Cisse made history in May 2021 when she broke the previous world record for the most live births after successfully delivering all nine of her babies through caesarean section at Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, Morocco. 

In a recent interview, she revealed that part of her kids routine in the NeoNatal ICU, where they have been since their premature birth, includes going through 100 nappies and six litres of milk a day.

She says of the birth that it was like an endless stream of babies coming out of her.

26-year old Cisse, from Mali, revealed that she only found out that she would be having nonuplets just before the birth. She recalls that it was a 'total shock'.

She says that during birth her sister was holding her hand, but all she was thinking about was how she would look out for so many babies and who would assist in that process.

Almost three months later, the babies remain in incubators, receiving care from a team of doctors and nurses. Cisse shared that the babies are fed and changed every two hours. and undergo health checks every three hours.

Due to her need to recover from the pregnancy and delivery, she only sees the babies twice a day for up to 30 minutes to bond as she does not yet have the energy to undertake their care regime. She is still feeling weak as she lost a lot of blood during her difficult delivery.

She added, "Giving birth to one child is hard enough, but having nine is unimaginable. It is astonishing the amount of work that is involved in looking after them. I am grateful to the medical team that are doing all the hard work and the Government of Mali for funding this."

"Thankfully, I do not have to get up in the night if the babies start crying because the nurses deal with all of that, so I manage to get plenty of sleep. I am lucky to be alive and have all this support," she added.

Cisse's husband, Kader Arby, visited the babies for the first time on 19 June as he was previously unable to travel due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

During his visit, Arby said, "It was an incredible feeling, and I give thanks to God that they have survived. Their health is improving and that of my wife. When I saw them, I was lost for words. It has been challenging to take it all in."

He added that there are many things to work out about their future, but he says that the focus, for now, is to get the babies home.

Arby admits that it is difficult to get involved in their babies day-to-day care, but he says that is a blessing as it helps his wife, who need the rest.

He added, "the big concern for me is not the size of my house, how many rooms we have or money but making sure that my wife and children are ok."

Cisse and her husband say that the nonuplets were conceived naturally.

The couple named their four boys and five girls Mohammed in honour of the king of Morocco; Bah in honour of the president of Mali; and El Hadji, Oumar, Hawa, Adama, Fatouma Oumou and Kadidia.

Source: Mail Online


Share your stories and questions with us via email at Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Don't miss a story!

For a weekly wrap of our latest parenting news and advice sign up to our free Friday Parent24 newsletter.

Follow us, and chat, on Facebook and Twitter.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.