Dubai-based Rola Farhat with her four new children. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News

Dubai: Twins at six weeks, triplets at nine and quadruplets at 12 weeks - Dubai-based Rola Farhat didn’t quite know what to expect until she delivered last month. But 32 weeks into her roller- coaster pregnancy, it was a case of “four’s well that ends well” for the 36-year-old Lebanese mum who gave birth to two boys and two girls at the private City Hospital in Dubai.

New scan, new baby

“I was consulting another hospital in Sharjah earlier and every time I went for a scan, I was told I was carrying another baby. In the sixth month, I was told that the latest scan showed I could expect more than four babies. So when I finally delivered quads at the City Hospital on August 18, I wouldn’t believe it and asked the doctor to look carefully — you never know, there could be another baby somewhere in the corner,” Farhat told XPRESS.

Describing her pregnancy as one filled with shock and surprise, Farhat said it was her faith in God that saw her through a difficult seven months. The last straw came during her 32nd week scan when doctors at the first hospital told her she would have to go to another hospital as she could deliver prematurely and they didn’t have enough incubators.

Farhat said she rushed to the City Hospital which immediately admitted her and did an emergency C-section.

“It was a weekend and I had to specially open the clinic on Friday to see the patient,” said Dr Elsa Menezes, Specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at City Hospital. A battery of tests later, a C-section was scheduled the next day when a total of 22 staff were pressed into the hospital’s largest operating theatre to receive the quadruplets. Some doctors were on vacation and were specially called in.

“The patient is exceedingly lucky to have got to 32 weeks with the quads who were born in a fantastic condition,” said Dr Menezes, recalling how she had arrived at the hospital with a liver dysfunction and ran the risk of several complications. We not only faced an anaesthetic challenge but also the risk of bleeding. But thankfully we were prepared and it was a straightforward surgery.”

Two weeks after the delivery, Farhat was medically discharged but still a lodger at the hospital as she waited along with her five-year-old daughter Lore to take the quads - Tala, Karam, Karim and Taj - home. A proud mother of five, she said all but Karim had been shifted out of incubators and she had begun to partly breast-feed them. They had also gained considerable weight since their birth.

Warm homecoming

She said her mother would be joining her and her husband for a warm homecoming. “Besides family, we will need two nannies to help us with the four babies.”

Farhat said she was thankful to infant nutrition company Milupa for providing the babies milk, cereal and other products free of cost for a year. “We would need an estimated 970 pampers a month and would be grateful if some companies could help us with such supplies,” she added.

Farhat said she reckons the cost of the hospital stay, medicines and delivery could come close to Dh500,000. “But fortunately, I am covered by insurance,” she added.

Asked how different scans could show a different number of embryos, Dr Menezes said, “It is possible to miss a sac in the early stages because unlike the animal uterus where embryos are lined up, the human uterus is rounded and one sac can obscure another.”