Record-breaking nonuplets celebrate their first birthday

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Parents Halima Ciss?  and Kader Arby with their nine babies during their first birthday celebrations 04.05.22 (Picture: Akdital)

Parents Halima Cissé, 27, and Abdelkader Arby proudly pictured with their children on their first birthday (Picture: Akdital)

The world-famous nonuplets from Mali marked their first birthday with a small party at home.

The nine babies were given the Guinness World Records title for the most children delivered in a single birth to survive.

They were born on May 4, 2021 – breaking the previous record of eight babies born to Nadya Suleman of the USA, also called Octomom, in 2009.

Dad Abdelkader Arby told the BBC: ‘They’re all crawling now. Some are sitting up and can even walk if they hold on to something.’

Although he admits ‘it’s not easy’, he said he is happy to see ‘all the babies in perfect health’.

Their mum Halima Cissé, 27, and all the siblings are still under the care of the clinic in Morocco where they were born.

They are living in a specially equipped flat, owned by the clinic, where nurses are on hand to help and ensure the babies adhere to a strict diet so they receive all the nutrients they require.

The family held a small birthday party with a few nurses and neighbors to celebrate.

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Parents Halima Ciss?  and Kader Arby with their nine babies during their first birthday celebrations 04.05.22 (Picture: Akdital)

The nine babies were given the Guinness World Records title for the most children delivered in a single birth to survive (Picture: Akdital)

Parents Halima Ciss?  and Kader Arby with their nine babies during their first birthday celebrations 04.05.22 (Picture: Akdital)

Their family held a small gathering to mark the special occasion (Picture: Akdital)

Parents Halima Ciss?  and Kader Arby with their nine babies during their first birthday celebrations 04.05.22 (Picture: Akdital)

They survived the odds to survive – and now they’re a bit of a handful (Picture: Akdital)

There are five girls – Adama, Oumou, Hawa, Kadidia, Fatouma – and four boys – Oumar, Elhadji, Bah and Mohammed VI.

They were born prematurely via caesarean section 30 weeks into Halima’s pregnancy.

Doctors initially thought she was going to have seven children, but two more were detected after she was admitted to the Ain Borja Clinic for specialist care.

When they were delivered they each weighed between 1.1lb and 2lb.

Nonuplets are extremely rare and no cases of all babies surviving after the birth for more than a few hours have ever previously been recorded.

Halima Ciss?  mum of 9 babies cms Names of the four baby BOYS in order on the picture: Oumar, Elhadji, Bah, Mohammed VI Names of the five baby GIRLS in order on the picture: Adama, Oumou, Hawa, Kadidia, and Fatouma

The babies pictured soon after they were born (Picture: Peter Allen)

Halima Ciss?  mum of 9 babies cms Names of the four baby BOYS in order on the picture: Oumar, Elhadji, Bah, Mohammed VI Names of the five baby GIRLS in order on the picture: Adama, Oumou, Hawa, Kadidia, and Fatouma

There are five girls (in order): Adama, Oumou, Hawa, Kadidia and Fatouma, and four boys (in order): Oumar, Elhadji, Bah and Mohammed VI (Picture: Peter Allen)

Paediatrician Dr. Msayif Khali examines with a stethoscope one of the nine babies protected in an incubator at the maternity unit of the Ain Borja clinic in Casablanca, Morocco, Thursday May 20, 2021, two weeks after Mali's Halima Cisse, 25, gave birth to nine healthy babies.  (AP Photo/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

When they were delivered they each weighed between 1.1lb and 2lb (Picture: AP)

Nurses and medical staff still keep a close eye on the children as they grow (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)

To help them survive, as soon as they were born the children were transferred to incubators and remained under the care of the clinic’s pediatric neonatologist, Khalil Msaif, for several months.

Shortly after the birth, Mali’s health minister, Dr Fanta Siby, said: ‘The newborns and the mother are all doing well.’

Dad Abdelkader, a sailor in the Malian Navy, stayed in Mali during his birth to look after the couple’s three-year-old daughter, Souda.

When he was reunited with his family in October 2021, he said: ‘All of them are getting on very well and are a joy to look after.’

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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