The birth of a set of quadruplets in Ilella Local Government Area of Sokoto State has ignited an enthralling atmosphere in the area, just as their coming has brought immense goodwill and support to their parents.
For 45-year-old Malam Lawali Ibrahim and 35-year-old Malama Shafa’atu, parents of the four healthy baby girls, it is a rare excitement to have quadruplets. Their faces showed rapturous bliss as they spoke on their new source of joy delivered on Monday, August 7, 2017 at Illela town.
Having quadruplets is noted to be a rare occurrence, it is therefore not surprising that Lawali’s residence on the outskirts of Illela is now a celebrated house with virtually everyone in the town identifying with the parents.
Beaming with smiles, Malama Shafa ‘atu narrated her experience to Daily Trust.
“One came first, followed by two in a bag and then the fourth came,” she said.
She recounted how at the early stage of the pregnancy, there was confusion on whether she was carrying a pregnancy or not.
“After a series of tests during my antenatal visits to the hospital, some medical personnel told me I was not carrying any pregnancy, contrary to the finding of my family doctor that I was pregnant. What baffled me was the fact that I was having my monthly menstruation even when my family doctor confirmed that I was pregnant until after five to six months when the pregnancy started growing,” she said.
She said during her antenatal visits, she was told that she was carrying twins. The quadruplets are not the couple’s first children, they have 13 other children-eight males and five females.
Speaking further on her experience with the pregnancy, she said: “I did not feel any difference from the previous pregnancies, I only noticed that my womb was bigger this time around.”
Though she visited the hospital for all the earlier pregnancies, she said she never delivered any of her children in a hospital.
“I gave birth to all my children at home but I did go to hospital for the mandatory antenatal visits. It was traditional birth attendants who attended to me on all my pregnancies,” she said.
She said she went to the hospital after the delivery of the quadruplets where they were certified okay. The delighted Shafa’atu thanked Allah for the blessing, saying she was coping very well with the children.
“Usually, two of the babies would cry at the same time and I would give them breast milk, each at a time but on rare occasions when all the four babies begin to cry for attention, I feed two with powdered milk from feeding bottles while the other two suckle,” she said.
Her husband, an eatery proprietor, was also elated. “I am full of praises to Alllah who gave me the children. Upon hearing the news of the birth of the four children, I just praised Allah for the wonder and felt happy,” he said.
He said during the pregnancy, his wife only ate selected food.
“From time to time, she craved for malt drink and milk which I provided. She also requested for beans and pepper soup,” he added.
On whether there is a history of such births in the family, Lawali said his grandmother had triplets while his mother-in-law has two sets of twins.
The naming ceremony of the quadruplets which was held on August 21 was attended by a representative of the state governor, the Sultan of Sokoto and Sarkin Rafin of Illela district among other prominent personalities. The Chief lmam of Illela Jumaat mosque conducted the prayer at the residence of the family.
Four rams were slaughtered in conformity with Islamic injunction and the babies were named Fadimatu, Zarau, Rukayya, Zainab and Ummu khulthum .
Appreciating the support of the state government, Lawali stated: “We are not rich, but through these kids and through the governor, God has made us rich. We thank you very much and we’ll forever cherish this intervention.”
The state government donated N500,000 and several items including baby wears, baby-friendly mosquito nets, four bags of rice, millet sorghum, cartons of milk, crates of egg, cartons of spaghetti and macaroni, wrappers and other wears for the parents. The thankful father noted that the intervention came when most needed. He thanked Governor Aminu Tambuwal for his kindness.
The Commissioner for Social Welfare, Alhaji Surajo Gatawa, who presented the items on behalf of the governor at the family house in Illela, said: “The birth of a child is a moment of joy to us. And because God decided to give you four at the same time, our joy is four-fold”.
He assured that the state government would continue to monitor the progress of the quadruplets. Neighbours and relations have been supporting the mother to care for the babies even as the quadruplets continue to attract great attention. It was gathered that when a polio immunization team came to immunize the quadruplets, they donated N20,000 to them. The parents expressed appreciation to everyone for the immense support.