TONOTA: One week ago, history repeated itself as 34-year-old Pego Race gave birth to quadruplets boys at Nyangabwe Referral Hospital (NRH).
Mmegi this week visited the Race family compound where volunteers were busy building a house for Pego.
After conducting interviews with some of Pego’s family members, Mmegi discovered that giving birth to multiple babies at the same time in the Race clan was nothing strange. It runs in the family.
Pegos’ mother, Ledoba Race, who was in a blissful spirit said that children are a reward from Lord.
She also said that having quadruplet grandsons did not come as a surprise because their family has a history of giving birth to twins.
She disclosed that her family has over five sets of twins. “I have twin siblings of different sex, my elder sister Mmaoshadi Race and my close cousin also have a set of twins. My great uncle also has quadruplets, so giving birth to more than one child in our family is not something strange. We consider this to be a great gift from the Lord,” said a beaming Ledoba.
Pego’s aunt, Mmaoshadi Race was equally happy.
The 54-year-old also revealed that they had a history of multiple births in their family.
“I have twins, a boy and a girl, and my mother who is Pego’s grandmother also gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl,” she said. Mmaoshadi hopes that when the children grow up, they are going to change their family status. In fact, according to Dr Charles Kiggundu, the ability to conceive many children at the same time is known as ‘genetic predisposition to hyper ovulate’.
“It is an increased likelihood of having children in multiples (twins, triplets, quadruplets...) based on a person’s genetic makeup. It results from specific genetic variations that
Dr Kiggundu stated that in some cases, “women ovulate more than one time consecutively, but in other cases they release more than one egg at the same time, leaving room for the fertilisation of released eggs. When that happens, each one develops within its own sac in the womb; hyper-ovulation naturally is hereditary”.
A similar incident happened 10 years ago when 23-year-old Dineo Keetshepe, who hails from Mahalapye village, became a mother of three baby girls and a boy at NRH. After Keetshepe’s labour, Dr Tsaone Sekaname, a general practitioner in the gynaecology centre at NRH told Mmegi then that the occurrence was “bizarre”. Having been Keetshepe’s doctor during her labour, he said the incident was probably the first in Botswana.
Dr Sekaname said it was his first time to witness and even to handle such a case in his career. However, explaining what happened, Dr Sekaname said in most cases, people who usually bear multiple babies are the infertile who do not release ovaries. Due to their infertility, he said, they would be supplied with fertility pills to help accelerate the process of fertilisation, sometimes resulting in more than one egg being fertilised. According to Dr Sekaname, in such cases, normally the mother’s health may be jeopardised during pregnancy.
“All the four children depend on their mother for minerals and everything. The mother may run short of blood and experience a condition called anaemia,” he said. However, he said during pregnancy they are provided with Ferrous Folic Acid, which contains iron and more minerals to meet the needs of all the babies.