Gosiame Thamara Sithole isn't your average mother.
This 37-year-old from South Africa has done what most women would consider impossible. She says she gave birth to decuplets at a hospital in the city of Pretoria on June 7.
In case you are like me - here is a list of what we call multiple births:
- Twins (2)
- Triplets (3)
- Quadruplets (4)
- Quintuplets (5)
- Sextuplets (6)
- Septuplets (7)
- Octuplets (8)
- Nonuplets (9)
- Decuplets (10)
So far as I can tell, she is the only person to ever do so. At least on Wikipedia, she is the only person listed. The world record was held by Malian Halima Cissé who gave birth to nine children in Morocco in May 2021.
When Gosiame saw her doctors earlier in the pregnancy they had only detected 8 babies during her medical scans. The new mom, who hails from Tembisa Township in Ekurhuleni, delivered her seven boys and three girls by Caesarean section on June 7, 2021.
Thamara's husband Teboho Tsotetsi spoke with IOL News was quoted saying: “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 couple, who already have six-year-old twins, previously told the Pretoria News that her pregnancy was natural as she was not on fertility treatment.
In an earlier interview Gosiame said “I am shocked by my pregnancy. It was tough at the beginning. I was sick. It was hard for me. It’s still tough but I am used to it now. I don’t feel the pain anymore, but it’s still a bit tough. I just pray for God to help me deliver all my children in a healthy condition, and for me and my children to come out alive. I would be pleased about it.”
VIDEO 1.— Pretoria News (@pretorianews) June 9, 2021
Decuplets mother Gosiame Sithole and her husband, Teboho Tsotetsi on their first reaction when doctors told them about the 10 babies, and the unique pregnancy. #GuinnessWorldRecord #NationalBabyShower @IndyMediaSA @pietrampedi pic.twitter.com/op2By5nMMC
She continued saying that initially, she didn't believe it was true.
“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 realised it was indeed true. I battled to sleep at night though.”
VIDEO 2— Pretoria News (@pretorianews) June 9, 2021
Decuplets father, Teboho Tsotetsi, on the state of disbelief he found himself in when he first heard of his wife Gosiame Sithole's pregnancy with 10 babies. @IndyMediaSA #GuinnessWorldRecord #NationalBabyShower pic.twitter.com/X3h78G9Mge
In the video below, the father of decuplets Tebogo Tsotetsi shares how he felt when he heard the news that his wife had given birth to 10 babies.
The condition of the children following the birth has not been made clear by Pretoria News, who was the first to report the case.
Children of extreme multiple pregnancies are almost always born underweight and can often be malnourished as the mother's body struggles to provide nutrients for so many infants.
Cases of infant mortality are also not uncommon following large multiple births.