Multiples are becoming more and more common as people turn to fertility drugs and assisted reproductive technologies to help them conceive. According to the CDC, the chances of having twins are approximately 1 in 80.
As the number of babies increases, the odds decrease. The chances of having triplets are 1 in 6,889 pregnancies and quadruplets are 1 in 571,787. Having sextuplets is a 1 in 3 TRILLION CHANCE.
You have a better chance of winning the Mega Millions lottery. Or being eaten by a shark.
Unless you’re this mom.
A mom from South Africa has allegedly just birthed 10 babies and a brand new Guinness World Record.
TEN BABIES. At one time. Decuplets. And she should probably start buying lottery tickets now.
According to Pretoria News, Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 37, gave birth to 7 boys and 3 girls. Five babies were delivered naturally and 5 via Caesarean section. She was 29 weeks pregnant.
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Her husband, Teboho Tsotetsi told reporters:
“It’s seven boys and three girls. She was seven months and seven days pregnant. I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much. Let’s talk again in the morning please.”
The babies join 6-year-old twin siblings and will reportedly need to spend the next few months in incubators before they will be able to go home.
One South African official confirmed the births to the BBC and Guinness World Records is currently looking into the claim.
GWR’s senior publicist Jessica Dawes issued a statement saying:
“Guinness World Records is aware of the news that Sithole has given birth to decuplets. We send our congratulations and best wishes to the family.
At the current time, we are yet to verify if this is a record as the wellbeing of both the mother and babies are of top priority.
Our records team, alongside a specialist consultant, are looking into this and will provide any information as soon as possible.”
The multiples weren’t completely unexpected. At Sithole’s first ultrasound doctors informed her that she was expecting sextuplets (6). Further scans showed an additional 2 babies.
Just imagine that conversation, “Oh, by the way, it looks like we missed one. There’s another one…wait…annnnd another one…”
I can’t even.
Neither could she. When the doctors told her she was expecting octuplets, Sithole had a hard time believing it.
In an interview conducted by Pretoria News a month ago she said:
“I didn’t believe it. I doubted it. I was convinced that if it was more, it would be twins or triplets, not more than that.
When the doctor told me, I took time to believe it. Even when I saw the scans I didn’t believe it. But, as time went by, I realized it was indeed true. I battled to sleep at night though.”
No doubt. I barely slept being pregnant with one baby, never mind 10.
Along with a physically challenging pregnancy fraught with leg pains and heartburn, there were also a lot of worries. She questioned how the babies would all fit in the womb, if they would survive, and whether or not they would come out conjoined at the head, the stomachs, or the hands?
Her husband also struggled with the news and had to go and research whether or not it was even possible to conceive 8 babies.
Apparently, he should have been researching the possibility of 10 babies instead.
It wasn’t until the actual birth that the doctors and the couple discovered two bonus babies. Surprise!
The new father says he feels “like one of God’s chosen children,” and that he is “blessed to be given these kinds of blessings when many people out there need children.”
The craziest part of this story is that Sithole did NOT undergo any fertility treatments. The babies were conceived naturally.
Sithole broke the record of the most children born at the same birth, previously held by 25-year-old Halima Cissé. The Malian woman delivered nonuplets in Morocco last month.
Before Cisse, the record was held by Nadia “Octomom” Suleman.
A number of factors can increase the odds of having multiples, including:
- maternal age
- history of multiples on the mother’s side
- previous birth of multiples
- ethnicity (with African-American women being more likely to have twins than any other race)
- the use of fertility medications and assisted reproductive technology
While fertility medications and assisted reproductive technology did not factor into Sithole’s pregnancy, her age, race, and already having had twins, did.
As for what happens now that the babies have been born?
Sithole has given up her job as a retail store manager to look after the babies and her husband is currently unemployed.
Exclusive: Mother of 10 babies who broke Guinness World Record appeals for help https://t.co/2SiiDgI4ej
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They are seeking donations of diapers, wipes, blankets, baby bottles, clothes, baby creams, soap, bathtubs, breast pumps, feeding pillows, pacifiers, and cash.
Sithole tells reporters:
“I appeal to the public to help me in whatever way they can. Anybody who has anything I would appreciate it.
I am relying on my mother-in-law now. She is old, lives on her old age pension and has grandchildren.
I will also need people who can volunteer to help me raise the children – helpers.”
Here’s hoping this mama gets ALL.THE.HELPERS. Because if anyone needs a village to help raise their children, it’s definitely this family with their 10 new bundles of joy.