First time mum gives birth to sextuplets… all in natural conception and birth

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Sra Gul's Sextuplets

Sara Gul made an almost impossible history giving birth to six children at a go- and  the babies were conceived naturally with no artificial insemination involved.

First-time mother Sara Gul on knowing of the pregnancy attempted to commit suicide when few months to her pregnancy it was revealed that she was carrying a sextuplet.

Giving birth on Tuesday, the Afghan mother was full of joy but her happiness was intermittently terminated as she remembered the poor condition of her family.

“I wasn’t happy with [being pregnant with multiple babies] and I tried to induce a miscarriage, but it didn’t work,” she expressed.

“I took medicines, I jumped from walls, but nothing happened.”, she told an Afghan newspaper.

As the reality dawned with the babies arriving in quick succession on Tuesday, Gul expressed joy upon giving birth to the sextuplets in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif on January 24.

But occasional tension was coming as thought of caring for the babies  crept into her mind, clearly daunted by the prospect of having to care for her three girls and three boys.

During an interview at the hospital on the day of her delivery, Gul said she and her husband, Shukrullah, already struggle to make ends meet on his meagre income.

“I even jumped from a wall but nothing happened to them,” Gul told Reuters in provincial capital Mazar-e-Sharif, where she gave birth — her first — late on Monday.

As the due date neared, Gul’s was full of apprehension hoping the birth would expose the family to untold hardship and hopelessness.

“We are very poor. I wasn’t sure if there would be doctors on hand when we needed them, and we don’t have much to eat,” she had feared just before the babies’ birth.

Upon learning that she was pregnant with six children, Gul and her 27-year-old husband made some big life changes.

They moved from their home village to Mazar-e Sharif in hope that Shukrallah could find work.

Gul said the couple’s extreme poverty had   caused her to consider terminating her pregnancy.

Maternity ward doctor Abdul Rauf Ferogh confirmed the birth, saying five of the babies were healthy, while the last one was underweight and still in postnatal care.

Rare in nature, multiple births are often the result of medical fertility treatment, although the method does not exist in Afghanistan. Afghans take pride in having large families, but war, conflict and destitution means one in four children die before reaching the age of five.

“Allah blessed me with six children, but I am worried about their future,” said Gul’s 27-year-old husband Shukrullah, who is unemployed, like many others in the war-wracked country.

Hopeless: Sara Gul

Malalai, an obstetrician in the hospital where the babies were born, said that while the sextuplets were born prematurely and are being kept in incubators, they are in good health.

Since the birth of the babies, mercy has been knocking on the family’s door.

The administration of the hospital where the babies were born, Mazar-e Sharif hospital has provided 6,000 afghanis ($120) to Gul, while the governor ‘s office of Balkh Province promised to provide $1,000 for the family.

“We are very poor. I wasn’t sure if there would be doctors on hand when we needed them, and we don’t have much to eat,” she expressed just before the babies’ birth.

Efforts to promote birth control by the government have been met with caution by aid groups who say introducing contraceptives would be extremely difficult in the ultra-conservative Muslim society, and opposition from Islamic scholars who say they are unlawful.