By Spy Uganda Correspondent
A South African woman from Gauteng province has given birth to 10 babies, breaking the Guinness World Record held by Malian Halima Cissé who gave birth to nine children in Morocco last month.
Local news reports that Gosiame Thamara Sithole, 37, gave birth to her decuplets – two more than doctors had earlier detected during the medical scans – at a hospital in Pretoria last night, said her husband Teboho Tsotetsi.
He said Sithole, who hails from Tembisa Township in Ekurhuleni, delivered her seven boys and three girls by Caesarean section.
Sithole, who has six-year-old twins, previously said that her pregnancy was natural as she was not on fertility treatment.
Speaking to journalists last night, Tsotetsi said Sithole gave birth to their bundles of joy 29 weeks into her pregnancy.
“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,” Tsotetsi said.
In an interview at their family home in Tembisa last month with journalists of which was delayed at the request of the couple for safety and cultural reasons, Sithole said she was shocked and fascinated by the pregnancy.
She said she had been in a state of disbelief when the doctors told her earlier this year that she was expecting six children (sextuplets) before further scans showed that it was in fact octuplets.
Two others could not be detected initially because they were inside the wrong tube, Sithole 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,” Sithole said.
The retail store manager said she was initially dubious when the doctors told her she was pregnant with octuplets.
Sithole said that even it wasn’t an easy journey, she was over the moon and looking forward to her children.
Tsotetsi, the new father, who is unemployed, said he was also overwhelmed by shock when he was told about the pregnancy.
“I could not believe it. I felt like one of God’s chosen children. I felt blessed to be given these kinds of blessings when many people out there need children. It’s a miracle which I appreciate. I had to go do my own research on whether a person could really conceive eight children. It was a new thing. I knew about twins, triplets and even quadruplets,” Tsotetsi said.
Professor Dini Mawela, the deputy head of the school of medicine at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, said Sithole’s case was rare and usually caused by fertility treatments.
The children would spend the next few months in the incubator because it was a “high risk” pregnancy, Mawela said.