A South African woman on Monday gave birth to 10 babies, breaking the Guinness World Record previously held by Malian Halima Cissé who gave birth to nine children in Morocco last month.
Gosiame Thamara Sithole from Pretoria delivered pre-term at a hospital in the South African capital.
“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,” her husband Teboho Tsotetsi told Pretoria News.
The 37-year-old mother said she was shocked by her pregnancy.
She, however, admitted she was initially doubtful when doctors told her she was pregnant with octuplets [doctors thought it was eight].
“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,” she said.
Tsotetsi, who is unemployed, said he 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.
He said Sithole, who is a retail store manager, had a difficult pregnancy, often experiencing leg pains and heartburn.
Professor Dini Mawela, the deputy head of the school of medicine at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, said Sithole’s case was very rare.