Khayelitsha resident Inganathi Mafenuka says she only believed she had carried quadruplets when she saw them after giving birth on Friday at Tygerberg Hospital.Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
When first-time Khayelitsha mother Inganathi Mafenuka, 22, was informed she was carrying quadruplets at 16 weeks, she was in denial.

She demanded to be transferred elsewhere and was told the same news.

Still stunned and overwhelmed, she only believed she had carried the quads when she saw them after giving birth on Friday, without complications, to two girls, Bungcwele and Bunono, and two boys, Bubele and Buchule, weighing between 830g and 1030g, at Tygerberg Hospital.

Mafenuka was showered with attention and gifts in a private ward. Among those who surprised her were Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo and Dis-Chem representatives.

A team of obstetricians, paediatricians and midwives performed the Caesarean section. Each baby had his or her own paediatrician.

Hospital spokesperson Laticia Pienaar said it was the first time in 10 years that a spontaneous Caesarean section was performed at 29 weeks.

Still stunned and overwhelmed, Khayelitsha mother Inganathi Mafenuka, 22, only believed she had carried the quads when she saw them after giving birth on Friday. Video: Okuhle Hlati

“My first ultrasound was at the Michael Mapongwana Community Health Centre, where I was told it’s four babies but refused to believe them,” Mafenuka said.

“They transferred me here to Tygerberg, where a second ultrasound confirmed it. I still refused to believe it.

“I told them the baby might be changing appearance or moving its limbs. Now I have welcomed my children with my whole heart and I’m prepared to take care of them,” said the final-year IT diploma student at Richfield Graduate Institute of Technology.

Grandmother Luleka said she was happy. “God has blessed our small family and we welcome our bundle of joys,” she said.

“The only thing that’s stressing me is that I’m unemployed, my daughter is a student and the father of the babies doesn’t have a permanent job.

“We are really grateful for the support and the gifts. I don’t know what we could’ve done without the love and support we’ve had.”

Mbombo, who worked as a midwife, said the excitement was because the birth was rare and the babies were conceived naturally and not through in vitro fertilisation.

Hospital board member Damaris Kiewiets advised Mafenuka on the importance of breastfeeding, as she too is a mother. Mafenuka was urged to secure sponsorship to help raise her babies.