Did you know that Cape Town was once home to the first-ever surviving sextuplets who were born back in 1974 in Mowbray?
Today, the birth and survival rate of sextuplets is more common but back in the 1970s this was not the case. The Rosenkowitzes were the first couple to ever successfully conceive and birth six healthy babies right here in the Mother City’s Mowbray Maternity Hospital.
On January 11, 1974, the family made news across the globe with their miraculous story, but the couple didn’t plan on having such a big family.
After their first two children, the Rosenkowitzes wanted to add another one to the mix, but they didn’t want a big family as they were already happy with their small one.
Due to a contraceptive error by Susan’s doctors, the couple were unable to have more children for four years – until they decided to experiment with the fertility injection.
Luckily the injection worked and in no time Susan was pregnant, although it was with a few more babies than expected.
Susan and Colin found out that they were expecting two children and later the two turned to three. As the couple was not prepared for that number, they considered terminating the pregnancy.
Their doctor pleaded with the couple, eventually convincing them to stick it out and have the unexpected babies.
Nothing could prepare them for what happened next. A few weeks past the deadline for termination, Susan went for a check up only to discover she was actually carrying six babies.
The pair were stunned and during the time that Susan became pregnant, no sextuplets had ever survived the birthing process.
They were scared and unsure what the future would hold for them and their unborn children.
Luckily, all six were born healthy and without any complications, making history and allowing both Susan and Colin to feel at ease.
Raising eight children was not without its challenges, however, and in 1989 Susan and Colin divorced, with Colin taking sole custody of all eight children.
Today, the sextuplets are in their late 40s and their father is retired. This unusual family has come a long way since their story first began in the sleepy suburbs of the Mother City, but their story will always be remembered.