“Decumom” Gosiame Thamara Sithole is known as the world’s first mama of 10 (all at once). The so-called decumom (or decamom) was rushed to Pretoria Hospital in South Africa, where doctors were forced to perform a Caesarean section.
Having gone in thinking she was having eight babies – to be added to a shortlist of fellow Octomom’s – Gosiame Thamara Sithole left a decumom, having allegedly given birth to decuplets, seven boys and three girls. The news instantly broke social media, as the world wanted to learn of the incredible story and find out who this miraculous woman was. It just so happened, no one could find her.
Though the story has yet to be corroborated by officials, the news of ten healthy babies being born all at the same time is startling and certainly miraculous. The baby-daddy, Teboho Tsotetsi, said that “I am happy. I am emotional. I can’t talk much.” He then joked, “Let’s talk again in the morning please.” The journey lasted seven months and seven days, and the unconfirmed June 7 birth has sparked many to wonder how other women have done it before.
No one before decumom Gosiame Thamara Sithole have given birth to ten babies in one day, but some have come close. Halima Cisse gave birth last month to nine babies, called nonuplets. Cisse is a Mali woman with a gut of steel, earning her place in the Guinness World Records as giving birth to the largest number of babies at once.
The 25-year-old mother was expecting seven babies, but when it came time to deliver the goodies, Halima Cisse was blessed with an additional two. She was one of the few women in history to birth to nonuplets, with only two other cases since 1971.
The massive pregnancy was confirmed by doctors and she was sent to specialists in Morocco for the delivery. She finally gave birth to the five girls and four boys (a baby army) on Tuesday, May 25. Fanta Siby, the health minister of Morocco, has since said that the babies are all healthy and alive, and will return to Mali along with their mother and father for observation.
Each fetus had a 50 percent chance of being stillborn, and yet each of the nine babies survived and are expected to thrive outside the womb. The babies have helped their mom set a new record, previously held by Octomom, Nadya Suleman, whose 2009 eight-baby delivery was the first and largest newborn set in the world to survive past one week.
The 45-year-old record-setter, Octomom celebrated her children’s 12th birthday in January, and each of the eight children is healthy. Though the pregnancy wasn’t natural (using IVF to implant the eight, simultaneous fetuses), the world had recognized Nadya Suleman as the record holder, until Cisse’s nine-baby delivery.
Now, it’s likely that Octomom has been upstaged again, as Guinness World Records looks to instate Gosiame Thamara Sithole as the new leader (when they confirm the birth). The current nine-baby record is held by three brave mothers, though unfortunately, only a single set of babies has survived.
In 1971, Geraldine Brodrick and her husband, Leonard Brodrick, were quickly outnumbered by five boys and four girls, however, two were stillborn. The surviving seven babies passed away within the first six days, likely due to a lack of advanced medical technology at the time.
In 1999, a Malaysian woman named Zurina Mat Saad had a uterus-full with five boys and four girls, but again, none survived more than 6 hours. As of now, Halima Cisse is still the only proven case where all nine babies survived the ordeal.
As medical technology continues to advance, the chance of survival of multiples will continue to go up. But for now, once it’s confirmed, Gosiame Thamara Sithole seems to hold the record.