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Halima Cissé

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Giving birth to one baby is no small feat. But a Malian woman shocked her doctors and the rest of the world when she gave birth to nine children at once.

What was so remarkable about her delivery is the fact that doctors were only able to see seven babies on sonograms and ultrasounds.

Halima Cissé, a 25-year-old from Mali was flown to Morocco, where she could receive specialized medical treatment for the delicate procedure.

Cissé’s husband told the BBC, “I’m very happy. My wife and the babies are doing well.”

Cissé gave birth to five girls and four boys.

Before Cissé, Nadya Suleman, the woman in the U.S. who had eight children in 2009 held the Guinness World Record for the number of children to survive after being delivered during a single birth.

Suleman’s children, who were conceived through in-vitro fertilization, are now 12-years-old.

There are two other sets of nonuplets recorded in the world one set born to a woman in Australia in 1971 and another to a Malaysian woman in 1999. Sadly, none of the babies were able to survive after a few days.

Mali’s health minister, Fanta Siby, congratulated the medical teams in both Mali and Morocco for the “happy outcome.”

Doctors in Mali kept Cissé for two weeks before they made the decision to move her to Morocco on March 30. She stayed an additional five weeks there before giving birth by Caesarian section this past Tuesday, May 4.

Cissé delivered her children at the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca. Professor Youssef Alaoui, medical director at the institution, told the AFP news agency that the case was “extremely rare. It’s exceptional.”

Cissé’s medical team included 10 doctors, 25 paramedics who assisted in the delivery of the nonuplets who were delivered at 30 weeks.

The babies weighted between 1.1. and 2.2. pounds and will be kept in incubators for the next two to three months as their lungs properly develop.

Her husband, Adjudant Kader Arby, is still in Mali caring for the couple’s eldest daughter. He has been in constant contact with his wife.

He told BBC Afrique, he is not concerned about his family’s future, raising and providing for ten children.

“God gave us these children. 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.”

Kader Arby has been heartened by the support he’s received from all over the world.

“Everybody called me! Everybody called. The Malian authorities called expressing their joy. I thank them…Even the president called me.”

Congratulations to this family. We’re wishing them all the best.

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