Mother of Septuplets in Egypt Looks Forward To Holding Them Soon

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CAIRO, Egypt — A day after giving birth to septuplets, a 27-year-old Egyptian woman said yesterday she’s only seen her babies on television and hopes to hold them and name them soon.

Ghazala Khamis was still hospitalized after giving birth a day earlier to four boys and three girls. She said she is “very anxious to see them” and to breast-feed at least some of them.

“I saw them on TV. They are very cute,” she told the Associated Press from her hospital bed in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria.

“I am just waiting to hold them in my arms and breast-feed them,” she said in a weak voice. “I don’t know if I can do it to all, but I will try.”

Her husband and other relatives are brainstorming names, said Ms. Khamis, who took fertility drugs to conceive in an effort to produce a son. She is already the mother of three girls, ages 7 to 11.

The family lives in Beheira, a northern province on the fertile Nile River delta where, like much of rural Egypt, sons are preferred to daughters.

The newborns, who weigh between 2.3 and 4 pounds, are being kept in incubators but appear to be healthy, Dr. Emad Darwish, who delivered the babies Saturday at El-Shatbi Hospital, said.

He said three remain at El-Shatbi while the other four have been sent to two other hospitals in Alexandria “because we do not have enough incubators.”

“They are doing well, but they still need a lot of care,” Dr. Darwish said.

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