The record nine babies born to a mother from Mali celebrated their first week of life today with a religious naming ceremony.
Two of the nonuplets are still on ventilators, and all the siblings – five girls and four boys – will have to spend at least another three months in high care at a specialist unit in Morocco.
Because of the grave risk of infection, their mother Halima Cisse, 25, has only limited access to them.
She is now strong enough to be out of intensive care after almost dying from blood loss during delivery.
The strain of carrying the weight of the babies and amniotic fluid, estimated at 40kg, more than six stone, triggered a haemorrhage of Ms Cisse’s uterine artery during the caesarean section, 30 weeks into her pregnancy.
In accordance with Islamic custom, the names of the newborns – who weighed in at 1.1lb to 2.2lbs – were revealed seven days after their birth last Tuesday.
Two of the nine babies were a total surprise as only seven had ever been spotted in scans.
Two of the boys, Mohamed and Bah, carry the names of the president of Mali and king of Morocco in gratitude to the help the two countries’ authorities have given towards the safe delivery of the babies.
The names for the five girls are Hawa, Adama, Fatouma, Oumou and Kadidia. The two other boys are called Elhadji and Oumar.
A spokeswoman for the Guinness World Records said it had ‘yet to verify’ whether the family sets a new record for the most number of babies born in a single delivery.
‘Our records team alongside a specialist consultant are looking into this,’ she told MailOnline.
Today in the family’s hometown of Timbuktu, in the north of the impoverished west African country, the traditional baptism ceremony was celebrated, minus the nonuplets, with their extended family including five uncles and aunts and two sets of grandparents.
Kader Arby, 35, their proud father is waiting in Mali’s capital Bamako to get final paperwork to fly to Casablanca to visit his wife, with whom he also has a daughter of two and a half, and their new brood.
With Ms Cisse only given restricted direct access to the babies, a team of 18 nurses are working around the clock to talk and sing to them to provide comfort.
A spokesman for the Aïn Borja said the new mother was ‘recovering well’ from the dramatic delivery. ‘The babies are in a stable condition, two of them are still intubated. We continue to monitor them every moment of the day.’
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Shekhar Bhatia and Mahacine Mokdad