Mum Gave Birth To 10 Babies. Doctors Were Shocked When They Realized One of Them Isn’t a Baby

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“It was the rarest thing that ever happened for a woman to deliver 10 babies in a single birth. It was almost supernatural, and the doctors were full of awe. But deep dread overtook them when they saw that one of them wasn’t a baby.

The hour had come; Halima knew this, and part of her was so relieved and excited. However, the other part of her was hyperventilating. She asked one of the nurses to help her through breathing exercises. When they were done, the nurse stayed back and asked what the matter was.

Halima wanted to say it was nothing and brush it away. But when she looked into the nurse’s face, she saw genuine concern there. It was so unexpected that Halima reacted on impulse; she burst into tears and wouldn’t stop, no matter how much the nurse rubbed her back and begged her to stop.

“I’m scared,” Halima admitted through tears. “What if something goes wrong with the babies or even me?”

The moment this question left her lips, Halima felt like a burden was lifted off her shoulders. For weeks leading up to this day, it had been a nagging thought that she hadn’t dared to voice out so she wouldn’t invite bad luck. But it was there in her bones, her breathing, and in every thought that crossed her mind.

The nurse held Halima’s hand and looked her in the eye. “There’s no guarantee about what will happen in the delivery room today, but I do know one thing. This clinic has handled more unique births than you can ever imagine. There would be 10 doctors and 25 paramedics in that room with you, me included. And all of us come with faith and unique medical skills. We won’t lose you or the babies.”

At this assurance, Halima started crying again and profusely thanked the nurse. She shyly added that the pregnancy hormones made her more emotional than normal, leading to these outbursts. The kind nurse understood, and other nurses soon joined them. They prepared Halima for delivery, with her mind finally at ease. Halima slipped into a dreamless sleep once she was sedated.

History was about to take place in that delivery room, but the medics who were assembled didn’t know it yet. They thought they were about to witness the birth of septuplets — that was a big deal all on its own. But it wasn’t the most unique thing ever; septuplets already existed in the world.

Also, the staff at this hospital weren’t caring for Halima out of ego. They weren’t out to prove anything to the world except to ensure the safety of the mother and the children. In this very complicated surgery, it wasn’t that the surgery itself was complicated, but there were too many variables to consider if they wanted to ensure success.

Halima and her husband, Abdul Ker, were originally from Timbuktu in the African country of Mali. Timbuktu was beautiful; it had electricity, clean water, and was a friendly community. But they didn’t have the medical capacity to handle a case of multiple pregnancies of that magnitude.

It was why Abdul Ker had acted urgently when Halima’s OBGYN revealed that she was pregnant with seven babies. He had contacted Mali’s authorities seeking help for his wife and their unborn babies. He had prayed that they paid attention to his cry for help.

It had been obvious that without outside intervention, Halima would be in a dire state. During her first trimester, Halima had been severely sick. She had been throwing up so much that she got emaciated. All the experienced mothers in the neighborhood had prepared different remedies for her to help with the nausea, but it had been futile. Halima couldn’t leave her bed; she felt weak and was constantly dizzy.

Abdul Cader had been terrified that he would lose her before the pregnancy even had a chance to progress. He had waited on her hand and foot and refused to allow her to undergo any strain. He had also read up on his wife’s symptoms and had been mildly relieved to discover that the first trimester was the hardest for women in most cases.

True to his hopes, the symptoms had abated once Halima entered the second trimester. But she had been too large even for seven babies. At 20 weeks of pregnancy, her feet had started swelling up; she had severe back pain that wouldn’t let her sleep at night, and she was always sweating, no matter how airy the room was.

The doctors in Timbuktu had recommended that Halima be flown to a special clinic in Morocco. That clinic was suited for women carrying multiple babies. Abdul Cader had known that on his soldier’s earnings, he couldn’t afford to take his wife there. He had seen how she was suffering, and it had hurt him to be unable to make it go away.

He had intensified his efforts to contact Mali’s authorities, and it had worked. The authorities had arranged for Halima to be flown to Casablanca in Morocco, where the specialized clinic was located. They had covered all expenses.

Halima had been 25 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to the hospital. She had looked so exhausted and had begged the doctors to let her give birth already. However, the doctors had known better. They had taken her vitals, run scans, and seen that Halima and her babies were in a precarious situation. They had been afraid for their safety, but they hadn’t told the parents-to-be.

Instead, the doctors had informed Abdul Cader and Halima that giving birth at 25 weeks would lessen the children’s chance of survival. A pregnancy carried to term was usually between 38 and 40 weeks, so Halima couldn’t give birth 14 weeks early, no matter the physical discomfort she was facing. They had assured her that they’d do everything in their power to make her comfortable until the babies came.

Out of fright, Halima had asked if they were planning on waiting until 38 weeks. They had quickly dismissed those fears, promising her that it would be much easier. After prolonging the inevitable for 5 weeks, the time had finally come for the babies to come out.

During the C-section, the medics discovered three more babies in Halima’s belly. In total, Halima gave birth to 10 babies at once. It was incredible and beyond everyone’s wildest imaginations. It was unheard of for a woman to deliver that much at a go. However, since the babies were born prematurely, they were tiny. The smallest weighed 500 grams, which is equal to 1 pound. Other children were above that weight, but the heaviest didn’t weigh more than 1 kg, which is a little over 2 pounds.

Normal babies carried to term usually weigh between 3 to 4 kg. Doctors had anticipated the severe underweight of these babies and had rushed them off to the clinic’s highly advanced neonatal care unit. Fortunately, only one of the babies was tagged an emergency baby — it was the one-B baby. He was urgently attended to and survived. They were all placed in incubators and watched over by the hospital staff round the clock.

The medics were so relieved that so many babies survived. They felt immense gratitude for this good fortune because they had only expected to keep up to five of them alive with their mother, Halima. With the baby safe, the rest

of the medics turned their attention to Halima, who was fighting for her life. She had suffered internal bleeding, and the electrocardiogram revealed her heart rate was dropping rapidly.

In the blink of an eye, it flatlined, and there was a second of complete silence as everyone stared in shock. Then, a flurry of activities followed. The doctors brought the defibrillator and tried three times to resuscitate Halima before her heart rate picked up on the electrocardiogram. They swiftly operated on her and staunched the bleeding.

Somewhere in the middle of surgery, she slipped into a coma. The doctors’ hands were tied; they had done all they could. The rest was up to God. Abdul Ker couldn’t hide his terror when he was informed of Halima’s state. She was unconscious, and no one knew when or if she would wake up.

The days that followed were delicate and especially hard on Abdul Ker. He was emotional because he loved his wife so much and couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. He was a hardened soldier who had bravely scaled through dangerous missions and fought against bloodthirsty criminals. But at the sight of his wife lying helplessly in the hospital, he was reduced to shoulder-wrecking sobs.

He knelt beside her bed, held her hand in his, and pleaded with her to open her eyes. There was no response from her. Tearfully, he kissed her palm and her wrist, feeling the blood pumping there and her warmth. It comforted him a bit. He shut his eyes and prayed to the Almighty for mercy.

He stayed by her side for several hours and didn’t move from there, not even to go see his kids. Abdul Ker traveled down memory lane to the incredible day he met Halima a few years ago. She had recently started her studies and lived in the female dorm on campus.

He had been gravely injured while on assignment to track down some criminals. He had barely escaped from them with his life intact and had to hide where they couldn’t find him. With the last of his strength, he had rushed into the campus. It had been late evening, and most students hadn’t yet returned to their rooms.

He had climbed up a balcony and snuck into a random room in the female dorm to hide. That room had belonged to Halima, and she had found him there after lights out when she came in to get ready for bed. Halima had shuffled backward and tripped at the sight of the unknown bloodied man in her room. He had begged her not to shout and had asked for help.

It had been so obvious that Halima was afraid. Her hands had been trembling, and there had been goosebumps on her arms. However, she had summoned bravery and had helped as best as she could. She had administered first aid, tucked him into a comfortable position to nap, and the next day, she had followed his instructions to contact the general in charge of his company.

That had saved his life. With the intel that Abdul Ker had on the criminals, they had been caught and apprehended. Weeks after that day, Abdul Ker hadn’t been able to get Halima out of his mind. He was in love with the brave woman. He had met her father and asked for his permission to court her. After they had courted for some months, he had proposed, she had accepted, and they had gotten married.

Abdul Cader highly valued education and hadn’t let Halima drop out. Many of his peers weren’t like him; when they married a young woman, they often made her withdraw from school to focus on being a housewife. But Abdul Ker had done the contrary; he had insisted she continue her education.

A year after their marriage, Halima gave birth to their first child, a beautiful daughter. When the girl was a year and over, they had found out they were expecting again. That had been a joyous occasion until Halima had gone for her scan, and it had revealed multiple pregnancies.

There had been so many challenges associated with it, especially the cost of medical attention and care for the babies. Abdul Ker had written through his superiors to the Ministry of Health and Social Development of Mali. They had intervened when they heard of the situation, and the couple were momentarily relieved of the financial burden.

However, it had come at a cost. The details of Halima’s delivery and the babies were made public, and the media already got wind of Halima’s unconscious state and that the babies were over seven and in the incubator. Recalling all they had gone through, Abdul Ker needed Halima to survive so that they could continue their journey together. Nothing made sense without her.

Three days after Halima gave birth, she woke up. Abdul Ker was in the room with her, absentmindedly flicking through channels on the TV. He turned to check on her, as had become his manner to do every few minutes, and saw that her eyes were open. He eagerly rushed to her side and asked how she was feeling.

“I’m so thirsty. May I have some water?” she croaked out. He alerted a nearby nurse, and together, both of them helped her to a sitting position and gave her water.

Some hours later, Halima was feeling stronger and said that she’d like to see her babies. Abdul Ker wheeled her there in a wheelchair; she still needed to recover a little more before she began walking. Their babies were beautiful and doing well. Halima found out for the first time that she had delivered 10 children, but doctors were shocked when they realized one of them wasn’t a baby. It was a much more underdeveloped and nonviable fetus that didn’t form well and had to be cast away.

She was sad to learn this but rejoiced that they had nine surviving children — four boys and five girls. Halima took her time memorizing the faces and unique features of her babies. Abdul Ker also learned later that their family was making headlines all around the world because of the incredible occurrence of birthing nine children in a single birth. Many people were eager to support the family and sent money to them.

At the end of the day, the total amount of money that they received in the first month neared over a million dollars. The couple were in shock; it was beyond anything that they could have hoped for, enough to cover the bills and take care of the children for the foreseeable future.

Three months after delivery, Halima confessed to a reporter that she always desired a big family since she was an only child and wasn’t against having more children, even though her hands were jam-packed. The children went through 6 liters of milk and 100 diapers a day. The family moved into an apartment in Morocco to stay close to the clinic for monitoring.

They returned to Mali 19 months after the children were born. Many of them were crawling, and some even walked if they held onto something. They were all healthy. They got awarded the Guinness World Record for the most babies in a single birth. The former holder was Nadia Suleman with eight babies in 2009. Nadia was popularly known as Octomom and had taken in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Halima’s birth was natural, and she took the records in May 2021 — the world’s first set of nonuplets.

How would you feel if you found out you were about to have nine children?”

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