A 49-year-old Nigerian woman has given birth to sextuplets, six years after having twins.
Deaconess Doris Levi Wilson, from Bayelsa state in the south of the west African nation, gave birth to the six children—four girls and two boys—on February 9, the BBC reported.
The children have been named Miracle, Mercy, Merit, Marvis, Marvellous and Mirabel, according to local journalist Kos-Ikah Onisoman.
The woman married in 1994 and she and her husband had been trying unsuccessfully to have children until their twins were born in 2015—a wait of 21 years.
She told the BBC that the birth of her twins could be attributed to “local treatments,” such as massages and drinking “herbs,” referring to traditional medicines that are available in the country.
The birth of the sextuplets could also be explained by the use of these traditional medicines, Levi Wilson told the BBC.
The mother and father told reporters at their home in the town of Yenago that they thanked God for the arrival of the sextuplets and the twins, after waiting so long to have children, according to a Facebook post written by Onisoman.
The mother said she did not require a caesarean section and the sextuplets were born naturally.
The children’s father told the BBC he was “satisfied” after the couple had their twins—a boy and a girl—in 2015. But he joked that when he saw his six new children for the first time, he thought that this was the “end of the road.”
Levi Wilson said she had never planned to have eight children, but told the BBC she was still ready to have more.
The odds of having sextuplets is extremely low, particularly without the use of medical fertility treatments.
“The chance for high-multiple gestations—four and above—to happen spontaneously, is extremely, extremely rare,” Dr. Avner Hershlag, chief of Northwell Health Fertility in Manhasset, New York, previously told the news website LiveScience.
Figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that out of 3,791,712 recorded births in the United States in 2018, there were only 10 that involved quintuplets or other higher-order multiple births.
In March 2019, a Texas woman gave birth to sextuplets at the Woman’s Hospital in Houston. The four boys and two girls were all born in less than 10 minutes, according to a statement from the hospital.