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Saudi Mom Not Ready for Septuplets

February 17, 1998

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) _ The two largest of the 5-week-old Saudi septuplets are ready to go home, their pediatrician said today _ but their mom says she’s not ready for them yet.

With six of her seven other children still living at home, Hasna Mohammad Humair said she’ll ask the hospital to care for the infants for a little while longer.

``I can’t handle them now. How am I going to feed, bathe, and dress seven babies at once without any help?″ Humair said in a telephone interview.

The babies’ pediatrician said the two largest, a boy and a girl, are no longer in incubators and could go home Thursday. Two more are expected to be ready to follow next week.

``The babies are healthy and growing well. We’re very pleased with the weight they’ve put on,″ said Hind Moussa, a pediatrician at the hospital in the southern city of Abha where the seven babies were born.

The four boys and three girls now weigh between 3 pounds, 1 ounce and 3 pounds, 10 ounces. They weighed between 1 pound, 15 1/2 ounces and 2 pounds, 10 ounces at birth.

Their father, Abdullah Mohammed Ali, 55, is a retired civil defense employee who supplements his $1,066 monthly pension by driving a cab. Saudi newspapers have reported he has two other wives and nine children in addition to the septuplets.

Islam allows men up to four wives at a time if they can support them.

Ali, who named his newborn sons after Saudi King Fahd, Defense Minister Prince Sultan, Governor of Riyadh Prince Salman and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, has sent them telegrams twice telling them of the birth of the septuplets and asking for help, Humair said.

He has not yet received any reply, she said.

When she became pregnant with the septuplets, Humair said she was taking the fertility drug Clomid to regulate her menstrual cyle and was not trying to conceive.

In November, American Bobbi McCaughey gave birth to septuplets, all of whom survived.

Update hourly