Yaseera had longed to be a mother since her childhood. Now that the time had come, it was nothing like she’d imagined.
She could scarcely believe she was facing it in a foreign country. Her husband was a 1000 miles away. When the doctor broke the startling news to her, she was all alone and afraid.
Yaseera Diarra had known a difficult life as a little girl. Growing up in the remote Malian region of Songo meant having to walk miles just to access clean water.
Yaseera, like many others, dreamt of a life outside her tiny village. She never imagined that one day, this dream would be realized.
Unexpectedly, a suitor came calling in the form of a handsome Malian soldier. As an 18-year-old village girl, 24-year-old Sadio Traore asking for her hand and promising her a life in the city felt like the stuff of fairytales.
Just as in fairytales, however, trouble wasn’t far off the horizon either.
Sadio was a rugged city boy and a Malinese soldier. Being part of the Malian army meant he had traveled widely. In contrast, Yaseera was petite, young, and naive about life outside her village.
While the two were very much in love, there was a wide gap between their worlds, and the struggles they would face were only beginning.
Yaseera’s village was still heavily steeped in the “old ways.” It, therefore, caused quite a scandal when an outsider courted her. Rumors abounded and she became the subject of vicious gossip.
Not allowing this to affect them, the couple moved to Timbuktu. City life was not easy for Yaseera, though, and she soon fell into despair.
The marriage got off to a wonderful start. Sadio was attentive, kind, and gave Yaseera a good life. His job soon became more demanding, though, which drove a wedge between them.
After leaving her village, family, and the only life she knew, Yaseera was about to face her toughest test yet.
Timbuktu had a rich historical heritage, but modern-day life there was challenging for Yaseera. With the sweltering heat, bustling marketplaces, and day-to-day instability in the region, she often felt overwhelmed by it all.
Sadio’s job always kept him busy, which meant Yaseera spent much of her time alone. Then, the couple received a call that changed their lives.
Without warning, Sadio was deployed to the United States for training, and Yaseera found herself alone in a big city, afraid and feeling unwell. Knowing something was not right and desperately missing Sadio now, she called a doctor.
After making an appointment, Yaseera found Doctor Djenepo’s offices full of shiny gadgets and modern amenities that intimidated her greatly.
Doctor Djenepo’s assessment was quick and assured—she was pregnant. Double-checking to make sure, he confirmed that this was not all. Yaseera incredibly had ten fetuses inside her.
This was concerning as Malinese hospitals were not equipped for such highly specialized labor. He would have to refer her to a hospital in Morocco.
Yaseera had always dreamt of motherhood but was now thrust into it amid a myriad of concerns and uncertainty.
Her pregnancy was long and rough, carrying ten babies proving to be an overwhelming experience at times. Facing more separation from Sadio, Yaseera was soon transported to Morocco for special care. After arriving there, she immediately knew something was wrong.
Yaseera arrived in Morocco alone and thousands of miles apart from her husband. The modern hospital was overwhelming. Here, a team of specialist doctors would attend to her special delivery.
After her first scan, all of the doctors concurred. The news they gave her made no sense—one of her babies had disappeared.
Having been explained the risks of her unusual pregnancy many times, Yaseera was still not prepared for this news. After some initial confusion, it was soon clarified what had happened.
As a case of “vanishing twin syndrome,” one of the babies had underdeveloped and was effectively “absorbed” by a sibling during early development.
Saddened by this news but ultimately comforted to have an explanation for the missing child, Yaseera’s attention was turned back to her remaining babies.
Not long after reaching Morocco, Yaseera found herself in labor. After months of suffering, the time had finally arrived. Although in good hands, it was still going to be an extremely challenging delivery.
The care Yaseera received at the Ainborja Hospital in Casablanca was world-class. Despite all the risks, her nine babies were all born alive.
Sadio visited shortly after, and the proud parents welcomed four boys and five girls—setting a new world record for most live births from a single pregnancy. One tricky issue still remained, though.
Months of post-care and the unique nature of the delivery resulted in a hospital bill of two million dollars.
Fortunately, the Mali government stepped in and covered these costs; the young couple was grateful for the assistance received from both countries. After all this, there was just one last issue to overcome—figuring out names for all nine babies.