Mother mourns 5 ba­bies

She lost two of her in­fants an hour af­ter birth and lost three oth­ers within two days

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MA­GATI OBEBO Mobebo@ke.na­tion­media.com AND RUTH MBULA rm­bula@ke.na­tion­media.com

Jac­inta Akinyi was yes­ter­day griev­ing the deaths of the five ba­bies she gave birth to at Matata Hos­pi­tal in Homa Bay two weeks ago. Two died at birth, and the other three of pneu­mo­nia.

She fell into a state of con­fu­sion and had to be coun­selled by nurses at the Kisii Teach­ing and Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal where she had been ad­mit­ted to­gether with her three in­fants, hav­ing al­ready lost the first two shortly af­ter birth.

Ms Jac­inta Akinyi, 30, the mother of the quin­tu­plets, was be­sides her­self with grief as she contemplated the loss of her five new­borns.

One of the in­fants died at about 11pm on Sun­day night. The other two died yes­ter­day morn­ing at around 6am. The first two, who were born at home, had died at Matata Nurs­ing Hos­pi­tal in Oyugis Sub-county on Sun­day morn­ing, an hour af­ter be­ing born.

The deaths at Kisii Teach­ing and Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal brought to a close the chap­ter of a birth story of five ba­bies hailed as mirac­u­lous.

When the Daily Na­tion vis­ited Ms Akinyi in hos­pi­tal, she ap­peared calm, but nurses in­formed us that she was un­der­go­ing psy­cho­log­i­cal tor­ture.

“The pain of los­ing five an­gels de­liv­ered through the nor­mal way is over­whelm­ing,” said a nurse who had been tak­ing care of the woman. Ms Akinyi put on a brave face, but her frail tone while speak­ing re­vealed her feel­ings.

She was a sad woman, strug­gling to come to terms with re­al­ity. She walked into the hos­pi­tal with three ba­bies and later in the day she was left empty handed.

She de­scribed the news of her ba­bies’ deaths as sad­den­ing.

“I was happy that I had de­liv­ered five ba­bies. I felt blessed, But they have all gone. I cer­tainly feed sad, very sad,” she said.

She, how­ever, said it was God’s will. The ca­sual labourer is mar­ried to Mr Zepha­niah Ong­woyo, a cane cut­ter at Sukari In­dus­try Ltd in Nd­hiwa.

The pair hail from Kachieng’ Bongu vil­lage in Homa Bay County.

They have four chil­dren aged 12, 11, 10 and 8 years old, who were de­liv­ered at home with­out com­pli­ca­tions.

“Like any other mother who loses her baby, I feel sad, very sad but I leave it to God. I could not do much on my own,” the deeply re­li­gious mother said while sob­bing. She said she was shocked on re­al­is­ing she had more than one baby in her womb.

“I got shocked af­ter de­liv­er­ing the first baby, then an­other and had to be rushed to hos­pi­tal af­ter re­al­is­ing I had more ba­bies in my womb. We all got scared. That was strange to us,” she said.

She was in her seventh month of preg­nancy.

“I did not go for a scan as ear­lier rec­om­mended by doc­tors be­cause I did not have the money re­quired,” she nar­rated.

Ms Akinyi said she was on the farm on Satur­day and worked through­out the day, not know­ing she would face a gy­nae­col­o­gist the fol­low­ing day.

“The birth was not due and when I be­gan feel­ing some pains in the lower ab­domen I didn’t con­nect them to labour,” nar­rated Ms Akinyi. She said she had ex­pected to give birth to one baby.

“I al­ready have four chil­dren and it had not crossed my mind that I was to be blessed with many more,” she said.

She said she had had a nine year hia­tus be­fore try­ing for an­other preg­nancy. Hos­pi­tal Ma­tron Florence Ogero said staff had to coun­sel Ms Akinyi to over­come the tragedy. Doc­tors at the Kisii Teach­ing and Re­fer­ral Hos­pi­tal said they sus­pected a com­bi­na­tion of pneu­mo­nia, low birth weight and dis­sem­i­nated in­travas­cu­lar co­ag­u­lopa­thy — which leads to for­ma­tion of blood clots through­out the body — pre­cip­i­tated the deaths of the in­fants.

The three weighed 1.5, 1.3 and 1.1 kilo­grammes at birth and were placed in the in­cu­ba­tor.

The hos­pi­tal’s ex­ec­u­tive, Dr Enock Ondari, said doc­tors sus­pected a host of con­gen­i­tal com­pli­ca­tions as the pos­si­ble cause of the deaths.

“We sus­pect the three who were fer­ried here con­tracted pneu­mo­nia on the way. It is sad they suc­cumbed,” said Dr Ondari.

Ms Akinyi’s mother-in-law Pamela Ong­woyo said there was a sim­i­lar case of mul­ti­ple preg­nan­cies in the fam­ily.

“We had triplets who also did not sur­vive. But this par­tic­u­lar in­ci­dent of five was strange,” she said. She, how­ever, said the in­ci­dent had marked a low in a jour­ney they had ex­pected would end well.

“Sadly death has taken them away at a time when all of us were ea­gerly look­ing for­ward to en­joy­ing this rare bless­ing, she said.

They were all dead

BEN­SON MOMANYI | NA­TION

BEN­SON MOMANYII | NA­TION

Ms Jac­inta Akinyi at Kisii Teach­ing and Re­fer­ral hos­pi­tal. She lost three of her ba­bies at the hos­pi­tal, two days af­ter los­ing two oth­ers at the Matata Nurs­ing Home in Homa Bay County.

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