By Beatrice Nakibuuka
For 33 weeks, 50 toes, 50 fingers and six hearts have been beating together until on September 9, 2018 when Allen Nakato, 44 went into labour. The secondary school teacher from Kayunga had an answered prayer of 22 years of childlessness after suffering a miscarriage immediately after she got married.
Hesitant in speech, Nakato wears a smile of excitement about the first miracle babies in East and Central Africa after an (in-vitro fertilization) IVF at Women’s Hospital International and Fertility Centre in Bukoto.
She battled breast cancer until 2015 in which she lost one of her breasts but now shares the joy of nursing three baby girls and two boys.
Nakato had a miscarriage once immediately after she got married but failed to conceive again thereafter. She has tried endless options, went to several doctors but with no success.
She first visited the fertility centre in February 2016 for a consultation. “I told her about what was needed but after a long time, I did not see her, says Dr Ssali Tamale the director of the hospital. “I think it was about the finances.”
Two years later, she reappeared at the hospital ready for the procedure. Dr Ssali later realized that she had blocked tubes from the miscarriage and her husband also had low sperm count so it was hard for her to conceive naturally.
“We then got six eggs from her uterus and sperms from her husband and fertilized them to make an embryo. After three days, six embryos had developed which were then transferred into her uterus using the Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection,” he says.
The transfer of the embryo was done on February 9, 2018 and they all were transferred bearing in mind that sometimes the embryos shrink. On March 6, when a scan was done, the doctors noticed that she had five babies.
Nakato says, “I was very shocked because I had not heard of such a thing. I heard women having quadruplets but not five. I feared I would not be able to carry them but with the counseling from the doctors, I learnt to accept it.”
After conception, she went back and continued teaching. “I followed the advice from the doctors and not even once did I fall sick during pregnancy. I stopped working at week 27 and the doctors recommended bed rest.
Apart from the close family members from her side, Nakato has kept the number of babies a secret even from her husband. “He knows that I gave birth but not with the number. I only want him to find out when he comes to hospital. I am now looking around for mothers that can help me breastfeed.”