Tuesday, January 11, 2011

South Africa's first surviving sextuplets

...are 37 years old today!
Headline news on this day 37 years ago:
Susan Rosenkowitz and her husband Colin bore the first sextuplets known to survive their infancy on 11 January 1974, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The three boys (David Peter, Grant Vincent and Jason Solomon), and three girls (Emma Louise, Nicolette Anne, and Elizabeth Rebecca) were born by caesarian section. They were born at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, in Cape Town South Africa. Their total birth weight was 24 lb 1 oz (10.9 kg), with individual birth weights ranging from 2 lb 6 oz (1.1 kg) to 4 lb 6 oz (2.0 kg)

Only one of the six children, Grant, still lives in South Africa where he was born. The others have resettled in London, England and Dublin, Ireland.

(Above information is sourced from the Internet)

I remember these six babies' births very well, as I had just had my first baby, our son, John! A year later a clothing label launched a special baby garment called a "Babygro" and the Rosenkowitz Sextuplets promoted it in South Africa.  When I saw our youngest grandson, Elijah being dressed  in his babygro this week, I remembered the origin. I'm interested to know what these are called in other countries.

Even though I always only wanted two children and two children apart (LOL!) there is a history of multiple births in both sides of my family. My mum, who was the fifth child in a  family of twelve (imagine!) had older twin brothers but they died in infancy. My dad, an only child (yeah, I know from the sublime to the ridiculous!) had two  cousins. They were twin girls.

My sister's eight grandchildren: twin boys, triplet girls and three single girls. What blessings!

Three years ago on 9 January my sister's daughter had triplets. In March  of the same year, my sisters oldest son's wife had twin boys. Fertility drugs played no part in my parents' families or my sister's family. My sister already had two granddaughters from the other children. Can you imagine being so blessed? Then again,  I think the children are the blessed ones to have my sister as a grandmother.

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  1. When I was 21, my mother was put into Vancouver General Hospital's maternity ward to await the birth of my brother Rob. In the same room (formerly a sun room) were three young women who needed special attention from the nurses. Two who were at high risk for miscarriages and the third was expecting triplets. She had an 18-month-old baby already. She was my age.
    When Robbie was growing up, every time he had a birthday I would think of that young woman with three children Rob's age and one a year and a half older.
    Rob will be 43 on March 7. If Mom and Dad were still alive, it would be their 65th wedding anniversary.

  2. An interesting bit of baby history and one so close to your home. I've never known what the babygros are called here. I think they are called by various names but I've heard the term "onesie" from time to time.

  3. I wanted to be a twin when a teenager. But to part of 6. Wow! You do have some multiples in your family.

    So what does a "Babygro" look like?

  4. What a wonderful family and how fortunate all are well. Your post reminds me of my country’s famous quintuplets born in 1934 in Quebec, Canada. I believe they were the first quintuplets to survive into adulthood. Their existence was so amazing that they became tourist attractions, which was quite harmful to them. Documentaries are still being shown about their lives. These days multiple births are more common because of fertility drugs … but still rare without!

  5. bringing up two was hard enough but six all at once, that's a marvel. I don't know what a babygro is. Is it one of those all in one thingies? I think we call them jump suits. Not sure these days.

  6. Hi Jo, I remember the Rosenkowitz sextuplets. I had already had all of my children --and couldn't imagine have 6 more!!!! It's good to hear that they are all still alive.

    There are twins in my family too--but I didn't have any. My Dad had twin brothers. My brother and sister-in-law had twins.

    I was hoping I'd have some twin grands--but none. Guess it will happen in the next generation.


  7. I had four in five years which is still a whole lot easier than six all at once!! But I've been blessed with each one of them as they have brought me so much joy, laughter, love and a wonderful appreciation for a big family. I was an only child and it was a very lonely childhood. My kids have made up for that a hundred times over!! Hope your week is going well, Jo!

    Hugs and blessings,


  8. quite interesting story you have. I've always wondered how would it be to have my own twin. It would have been so much fun!

  9. I think I remember this event, my son was nearly one year old at the time and my friend in Germany who wanted a second child, a girl, had 3 boys in one shot ! That was quiet terrible, because she thought she would have twins but one was hiding behind the other ! They had to buy other furniture and make their house bigger.

  10. Your grandchildren are the blessed ones to have YOU as a grandmother!!!

    ... en dalk kom daar nog 'n 2- of 3-ling eendag!
    Jou header foto's is pragtig - vorige een van vloedwaters veral - het nie eers geweet ons "riviertjie" vloei so erg nie. Waar het jy die foto geneem?

  11. Fascinating. No one in my family has had more than one child at a time.

  12. Amazing...that YOU didn't have any multiples! I can't imagine even having twins! What a lot of work...along with a lot of blessings.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo