In Beheira, a northern province on the Nile River delta, sons are preferred to daughters. So, it is no surprise that Ghazala Khamis, who is already the mother of three girls, opted for fertility drugs not due to infertility, but in an effort to produce a son. The result?
Septuplets (four boys and three girls, to be exact) and a blood transfusion post-caesarean for the mother.
Sure. The Khamis family now has four sons, four times more than what they had originally hoped for.
But, here’s the catch: the Khamis family is now a party of 12, living on about 8 dollars a week. Yes, the health minister of Egypt has promised to give the babies free milk and diapers for two years, but unless all seven babies are adult-food-ready and toilet-trained by the age of two, there will be many more diapers and bottles to be bought. So, with the days of simply wanting a healthy baby evidently long gone, could “Operation Conceive-a-Son” have been achieved without serious health risks and threat of severe poverty to this family?
Perhaps, as after giving birth to her third girl, Ghazala Khamis would have been better off choosing one of the following options in response: relocate to a part of Egypt that does not necessarily discriminate against sex, or find a man stacked with “Y” chromosomes. I suppose doing the latter would be considered an upgrade in Egypt, no?
In all seriousness, I view the only sensible childbearing method to be the one that is not tampered with. Upon being asked how he planned to raise 10 kids in a financially unstable household, Khamis Khamis, father of the septuplets replied, “With the help of Allah, they will make it, but I think it will be difficult.”
At that, I rolled my eyes.
Why bring God, Allah, or any other higher power into an equation that you’ve already decided to solve on your own? If you choose to believe that God’s will be done, then is a reason why things happen the way they do. There was a reason why the Khamis’ had only been able to produce girls.
But, what exactly is that reason?
As humans, we are not always able to see the bigger picture, and honestly, I’m not sure that we are competent enough to handle such a privilege. At our best, we possess the maturity to not only put our trust in something bigger than ourselves, but furthermore, to take our hands off the steering wheel. Therein lies the beauty of living.