The birth of quintuplets brought chaos to a blue-painted maternity ward in a Gaza City hospital Wednesday, with flustered doctors trying to keep order among a crush of photographers and a slightly bewildered father.
Layla Abu Nofal, 25, delivered the five healthy babies – four boys and a girl – by caesarean section in the Shifa Hospital.
“The fifth was a surprise,” said her husband, Mohammed. He said his wife took hormone treatments to get pregnant but that they had expected only four babies.
The Gaza Strip has one of the world’s highest birth rates. Two years ago, another woman had sextuplets in Shifa Hospital.
Still, the quintuplets created a frenzy at the maternity ward, where the babies lay side by side with midwives peering over them. Bemused nurses and doctors tried to keep order among TV cameramen, photographers and a Palestine TV correspondent with a microphone.
The couple already have a five-year-old girl and a six-year-old boy.
“Everybody in the family picked a name” for the babies, Mohammed Abu Nofal said, but he only remembered them with some prodding from his mother-in-law: Mohammed, Ahmed, Hussam, Abdul Rahman, and Iman.
Abu Nofal, 28, a policeman who earns the equivalent of about C$545 a month, said he wasn’t sure how they would afford to raise their seven children, alongside 11 members of his extended family.
“I don’t think we’ve got enough money for diapers and baby milk to be honest with you,” he said.
Those babies are HUGE! I cannot believe that they all came out of one woman. Usually quinuplets weigh about 650-900gms each. Those little monkey look like they are about 3.5 lbs each. The are no reports on the official weight of the babies. We wish them good luck..and maybe a possible lottery winfall. I am pretty sure one woman cannot provide breast milk for all of these babies.