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Mother’s grief on losing five newborns

Tuesday November 14 2017


Ms Jacinta Akinyi at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital on November 14, 2017 where she lost her three children. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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She fell into a state of confusion and had to be counselled by nurses at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital where she had been admitted together with her three infants, having already lost the first two shortly after birth.

Ms Jacinta Akinyi, 30, the mother of the quintuplets, was besides herself with grief as she contemplated the loss of her five newborns.

One of the infants died at about 11pm on Sunday night.


The other two died Tuesday morning at around 6am.

The first two, who were born at home, had died at Matata Nursing Hospital in Oyugis Sub-County on Sunday morning, an hour after being born.


The deaths at Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital brought to a close the chapter of a birth story of five babies hailed as miraculous.

When the Nation visited Ms Akinyi in hospital, she appeared calm, but nurses informed us that she was undergoing psychological torture.

“The pain of losing five angels delivered through the normal way is overwhelming,” a nurse who had been taking care of the woman said.


Ms Akinyi put on a brave face, but her frail tone while speaking revealed her feelings.

She was a sad woman, struggling to come to terms with reality. She walked into the hospital with three babies and later in the day she was left empty handed.

She described the news of her babies’ deaths as saddening.

“I was happy that I had delivered five babies. I felt blessed, But they have all gone. I certainly feed sad, very sad,” she said.

She, however, said it was God’s will.

The casual labourer is married to Mr Zephaniah Ongwoyo, a cane cutter at Sukari Industry Ltd in Ndhiwa.

The pair hail from Kachieng’ Bongu village in Homa Bay County.

They have four children aged 12, 11, 10 and 8 years old, who were delivered at home without complications.

“Like any other mother who loses her baby, I feel sad, very sad but I leave it to God. I could not do much on my own,” the deeply religious mother said while sobbing.


She said she was shocked on realising she had more than one baby in her womb.

“I got shocked after delivering the first baby, then another and had to be rushed to hospital after realising I had more babies in my womb. We all got scared. That was strange to us,” she said.

She was in her seventh month of pregnancy.

“I did not go for a scan as earlier recommended by doctors because I did not have the money required,” she narrated.


Ms Akinyi said she was on the farm on Saturday and worked throughout the day, not knowing she would face a gynaecologist the following day.

“The birth was not due and when I began feeling some pains in the lower abdomen I didn’t connect them to labour,” narrated Ms Akinyi.

She said she had expected to give birth to one baby.

“I already have four children and it had not crossed my mind that I was to be blessed with many more,” she said.

She said she had had a nine-year hiatus before trying for another pregnancy.

Hospital Matron Florence Ogero said staff had to counsel Ms Akinyi to overcome the tragedy.

Doctors at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital said they suspected a combination of pneumonia, low birth weight and disseminated intravascular coagulopathy — which leads to formation of blood clots throughout the body — precipitated the deaths of the infants.

The three weighed 1.5, 1.3 and 1.1 kilogrammes at birth and were placed in the incubator.

The hospital’s executive, Dr Enock Ondari, said doctors suspected a host of congenital complications as the possible cause of the deaths.

“We suspect the three who were ferried here contracted pneumonia on the way. It is sad they succumbed,” Dr Ondari said.

Ms Akinyi’s mother-in-law Pamela Ongwoyo said there was a similar case of multiple pregnancies in the family.

“We had triplets who also did not survive. But this particular incident of five was strange,” she said.

She, however, said the incident had marked a low in a journey they had expected would end well.

“Sadly death has taken them away at a time when all of us were eagerly looking forward to enjoying this rare blessing, she said.