A CENTRAL Trinidad woman who will make history not only in this country but in the Caribbean region when she gives birth to the first set of sextuplets (six babies), have called on the nation to pray for a safe delivery carded for March 14.
Her call for prayers was echoed by North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) chairman Dr Shehenaz Mohammed who at a media conference at the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital, said that the entire hospital from cleaners to drivers to consultant gynaecologists and nursing staff are going to be on standby when the 28-year-old woman goes into labour.
The expectant mother has been warded at the Hospital since January 25, an has been and continue to be closely monitored by a team of doctors and nurses on a continuous basis since admitted.
Her identity has not been revealed nor her home address as hospital officials are taking every precaution to minimize the first time mother's stress levels.
Hospital officials said the woman had undergone a series of fertility drugs at a private doctor to increase her chances of becoming pregnant. The fertility drug reportedly used was identified as Clomid (clomiphene citrate) one of the most common fertility medications used to regulate or induce ovulation.
To maintain anonymity Media personnel who allowed to visit the expectant mother of the sextuplets were made to sign a non-disclosure contract with the Hospital before being allowed the visit. No photographs or voice recordings were allowed.
Media personnel were accompanied by Mohammed, another NCRHA board member, a member of the NCRHA’s communications department and nursing administrator Claudette Fraser-Udika, who gently squeezed the young woman’s hand during the brief interaction with reporters. The young woman, who is being kept in her own room at the hospital, appeared nervous at first but was soon smiling when asked whether she was going to have another six babies to complement her first six.
“Definitely not,” she said with a broad grin. Asked what she was doing while awaiting the birth of her babies, the woman said, “praying a lot.” “I’m also asking if the nation can pray for me as well,” she said, when told that both the electronic and print media would be carrying the story about her unborn babies.
Asked whether she had chosen any names, she said, “we have a few names, but we still have some decision to make.”
At a news briefing, Obstetrics and Gynaecological Department (Obs & Gyn) head Professor Bharath Bassaw pointed out that the anticipated birth of the six babies, which would be done by elective caesarean section on March 14, was the first of its kind both locally and regionally.
“As far as I am aware, this is the first time in Trinidad and the Caribbean, most of these, what we call ‘higher order pregnancies’ that do occur, end in miscarriages,” Bassaw said, adding, “as far as we are concerned, this is the first case of a sextuplet or a higher order pregnancy, more than triplets in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean.” “This is an uncommon condition and when this happens, most of these pregnancies will end long before due to miscarriages,” he said, adding the expectant mother was currently “just under 27 weeks of gestation” and that according to TT law, a viable pregnancy was considered to be 28 weeks.
“The patient is doing fine, she is very comfortable so far the pregnancy has been going along very well,” Bassaw said, and asked whether he was 100 percent confident about the pregnancy, added, “In this field there is nothing like 100 percent, but I think at this point we can say we are optimistic in terms of both mother and the fetal outcome.”
The last known case of a sextuplet birth took place in April of 2012 when Baylor University alums David and Lauren Perkins welcomed three boys and three girls at their home in Texas.
Her husband is currently recovering from the flu and would be visiting the expectant mother very soon.