Dubai: A fifth unexpected cry was heard at the delivery room when Syrian national Ranim Amir Barmada gave birth to quintuplets at the Saudi-German Hospital in Dubai at 10am on Monday.
Expecting quadruplets, 29 year-old Ranim and her husband, 33-year-old Hasan Munzer Barmada, were shocked to find out about the fifth baby during the surgery.
“I was shocked, I could not believe it — then I thought there could also be a sixth one,” said a tearful father as he stood in the delivery room.
With all five babies, two girls and three boys, born prematurely, the newborns who are currently stable are being kept in incubators with constant monitoring at the hospital.
Ranim, the mother of the babies who conceived naturally and delivered through a scheduled C-section, was unaware she was carrying five babies.
Dr Hassan Ali, Chief of Saudi-German Hospitals Group who was one of four doctors present at the surgery, said that while it’s not a common case, the team of doctors was ready to deliver the fifth baby. “The fifth baby didn’t show in the previous scans, he must have been hiding behind the other babies,” he added.
The Barmada babies are the first quintuplets to have been delivered at the Saudi-German Hospital, confirmed Dr Hassan.
Thanking God for His blessings, Barmada said he was surprised to find out he was expecting four children 12 weeks into the pregnancy. There is no previous history of multiple births in his or his wife’s family, he added.
Not quite sure how he and his wife will handle all five babies, Barmada said he hopes to receive support from the government.
Dr Hassan, who is also supervising the quintuplets, explained that with the babies’ weights ranging from 500 grams to 1.2 kilos, at least six weeks in recovery will be needed, if not more. “The babies are all premature and will need to be carefully monitored for several weeks before they can be with their mother,” he said. “The smallest baby weighing only 500gm will need to stay in hospital for eight weeks,” he added.
Premature babies could face several complications explained Dr Hassan. Health issues can include respiratory problems, complications in the development of the eyes, and a more likely occurrence of brain haemorrhage due to fragile brain capillaries.
With the critical time for premature babies being two weeks, round the clock monitoring is needed said Dr Hassan. “In the early stage, we have to be very cautious with the babies while feeding them because they are not ready to accept milk,” he added.
Feeding all five babies intravenously, the newborns are given total parenteral nutrition through tubes which pass nutrients into their bloodstream. “We start with small amounts and gradually increase the amount after constant evaluation,” said Dr Hassan.
Not able to hold their babies yet, the couple are surrounded by family and are praying for their five babies’ quick recovery.