Grace Wambui, 32, had already had three miscarriages. So it was quite a joyful surprise when she delivered identical triplets at Kerugoya Referral Hospital in Kirinyaga County.
In her plans, the mother of a 12-year-old girl had wanted to have just one more baby and call it a day.
When she attended an antenatal clinic in January, she was told that she was pregnant with triplets. As much as the announcement was shocking, it was also most welcome, not just for the parents-to-be, but also for their extended family.
On April 22, she went into labour and was rushed to the hospital by her husband Peter Muthii. After a gruelling delivery, Wambui woke up to be informed by her doctor that she had delivered three identical girls.
Sharteen Nyakio, Shantel Nyambura and Sharon Nyawira weighed 1.57kg, 1.57kg and 1.56kg, respectively. All were underweight and had to be put in incubators.
“I could not believe it until I saw them. I was told the babies were in good condition but they had to remain in the incubators for a whole month until they each attained two kilos of weight,” said Wambui, who lives in Kabii village, Kirinyaga Central.
“My late grandmother, Veronica Wambui, whom I was named after, had twins. We have a blessed family,” said Ms Wambui.
Her biggest worry now is that she has three more mouths to feed.
“I was upset and many things went through my mind when I saw the babies. My biggest concern is finances,” she said.
Wambui and her husband are casual labourers on French bean farms where they each earn about Sh300 a day, which is hardly enough to feed the family and meet other financial obligations. And now, only her husband is working.
At the moment, Ms Wambui is at her parents’ home in the neighbouring Kirimunge village. She and the babies needed a big space and when she approached her parents, they did not turn her down.
“Life is very difficult for me and my husband,” said Ms Wambui, who dropped out of school after she went partially blind. She plans to stay with her parents until the babies stop breast-feeding.
“I will go back to our house when the babies don't require milk from me, which is not even enough for them. Although my parents are equally poor, they have a big room for me and my babies,” she said. She appealed to well-wishers and the government for assistance.
“What we need most at the moment is milk and clothes,” she added.
“My in-laws understand the problem I’m facing and that is why they have temporarily accommodated my wife and the babies,” said Mr Muthii.