On 6 September 2018 in a town on the East Rand, a healthy set of quintuplets was born at the Clinix Botshelong Empilweni private hospital in Vosloorus, Boksburg, after fertility treatments and a C-section. According to news24.com, this is the fifth set of quintuplets born in South Africa since 1960.
Jospeh and Jabulile originally thought they were having a set of triplets. The existence of the other two babies only became apparent during the birth.
The babies were named the “Big Five” by the hospital staff because of their good birth weights, despite being born at only 31 weeks. The smallest, Sindisiwe, weighed in at only 1.27 kg, while Siyanda, the only boy, weighed 1.624kg. The three other girls, Sbahle, Simosihle and Slindile were all under 1.5kg at birth.
Living and Loving spoke to the proud dad, Joseph, to find out what life with five babies is like.
Picking a name
Dad Joseph chose each of the names based on the significant meaning they had:
Siyanda (family is growing big)
Sibahle (the family is beautiful)
Simosihle (the family is in good standing)
Slindile (we have been waiting to see if there is this fourth baby, based on an earlier scan)
Sindisiwe (God has saved us)
What were your first thoughts when you found out you have five babies and not three?
We were shocked, but also elated with this gift from God.
Do you have a nanny, or will you be taking turns to do feeds and pyjama drill?
We had to get help in to care for the babies. The hospital has also assisted us with a nurse for the first five days of the babies being home. After that, we will have one nanny during the night and two during the day. At night we all work together and try to sleep in turns when the other babies are sleeping. Unfortunately, they don’t sleep at the same time. One or two will be awake and need someone to look after them. We have had very little sleep these last couple of days, especially my wife. She is feeling quite sleep deprived.
Was it a difficult pregnancy?
No, not at all. We only went to the gynae because my wife was bleeding when she first found out she was pregnant. We were told by doctors that she miscarried, which is when we decided to consult a gynaecologist.
How are the babies doing?
We are delighted that they are doing well and thriving.
Help at hand
Caring for five children simultaneously can be costly. Cuddlers has agreed to sponsor the babies’ nappies for a year and Dr Brown’s has provided the family with feeding bottles. Other sponsors who provided nappies, baby clothing, toiletries and baby bags include the Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimango, the MEC for Social development Nandi Mayathula–Khoza, Pick n Pay and Bonitas. Clinix hospital has also sponsored a full-time nursing sister for the first five days of the babies being at home.
Jospeh and Jabulile look forward to the future with their instant, large family. They would like to thank all of their family and friends, their medical aid (Bonitas), the medical team and staff at Clinix hospital, as well as the generous sponsors who have already made such a positive difference in the quintuplets’ lives.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.