Mom tells of blessings with three sets of twins

2015-12-02 11:07
Samantha Phakisi's first set of twins. (Supplied)

Samantha Phakisi's first set of twins. (Supplied)

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Pretoria - When Samantha Phakisi rejoiced at finding out she was pregnant with twins 11 years ago, little did she know history would repeat itself two more times.

At 30-years-old, Phakisi is adjusting to having the latest addition, her third set of twins, to the family.

"When it happened the first time, I thought 'great, I am having twins'. When it happened the second time, I thought: 'Wow, I really am blessed.' You never think there will be a third time," she told News24.

Phakisi said she cried in disbelief when she found out she was pregnant with multiples again.

"I was excited because we had been trying," said Phakisi.

READ MORE: Surprise, surprise for KZN mom who gave birth to quadruplets

She was just several weeks into the pregnancy when she became suspicious that she could be carrying multiples because of how big her tummy was and how long the dark line on her stomach had stretched.

"I took my measuring tape and found that it was a bit too long. It stretches along through the pregnancy but mine just showed me that something big is going on," she said.

Phakisi visited her gynaecologist who confirmed the news.

"It was like nothing like I can describe," she said, saying that she burst into tears.

The father was also in disbelief.

'Smooth sailing'

"I printed the scan and gave it him. He looked at it and asked why it was so big. I said they are 15-weeks-old. He broke down and cried when he heard there were two in there," said Phakisi.

With six minors, one would expect Phakisi's hands to be full with barely any time to do anything. But the mother of six claims it’s been smooth sailing.

"I have a wonderful helper. Daddy is hands on and the eldest set of twins are also extremely helpful," Phakisi said.

"With the helper around it's basically three adults to six kids so we basically look over two kids each. It really is not that bad," she said.

READ MORE: Rural hospital over the moon after 'miracle' delivery of triplets

Phakisi had studied psychology but after her second set of twins were born, she went on to study journalism. She has recently also taken on a third course. There is no stopping this young mom who seems to have not traded her own dreams for motherhood.

"A child should not be an excuse but a propellant to do something with your life," she said.

Samantha Phakisi's second set of twins. (Supplied)

By any other name

Phakisi is orginally from Lesotho. Having had to go through the name-choosing process six times, one would expect that she would be running out of unique names for her offspring and would lean to the more traditional names. That is not the case.

The first set of twins, who are fraternal boys were named Sergio and Xavier.

In 2004, she gave birth to a boy and girl - Remy-Quimlyn and Schyffer. Earlier this year, her twin girls came. She named them Amina and Makeda.

"We do not just give names. These are very prophetic. Their names are what their coming represents to us and what I aspire for them to be," she said.

Sergio, for example, means God's servant.

Xavier, also a French name, means brightness. 

Remy, means oarsman. Phakisi explained that she had had a difficult pregnancy with Remy and his sister. He was born with cerebral palsy.

Explaining the name she gave him, Phakisi said: "His survival had puddled me out of muddy waters, thus I named him oarsman."


Remy's sister, who at the time was her only daughter, was named Schyffer which means shepherd.

"She was my only daughter and I knew she would take care of the rest of the flock," she said.

The latest twins were royalty to her. She named them after African queens, Makeda and Amina.

Unbelievably, Phakisi carried Makeda and Amina to full term with hardly any problems.

At 40 weeks, she tried to give birth to them naturally.

"I was hell bent on natural but I was not progressing so after 24 hours, I was advised to go for a c-section. I just wanted to ensure that my babies would be ok," she said.

While she was aware that one of the twins was a girl, the gender of the second baby was only discovered after her birth.

"We had placed a bet and my daughter and I won. We both said it would be girls. We had been highly outnumbered so were so overjoyed when the girls came," she said.

Hyper ovulation

But how does one explain these multiple twin pregnancies?

Phakisi explains her condition with ease.

"It is called hyper ovulation," she said.

"My body does not release one egg during ovulation. It releases two. And this is proved because none of my twins are identical which means that the egg didn't split. It's two separate eggs and they never share a placenta," she said.

Phakisi explained that if she would fall pregnant again, it would most probably be another set of twins.

"We have no reason to think that I have the ability to carry one child," she said.

Phakisi said she had studied her family tree and there was no trace of twins from both her mother and father's side of the family.

READ MORE: Top 10 reasons why multiples are great

Her sister, however, did fall pregnant with a set of identical twins before. The twins were produced from one egg which split into two. One of the twins sadly passed on during the pregnancy.

Phakisi said her research showed that such incidents were common with women who took hormonal therapy.

She also found that in Nigeria, there were two tribes who had numerous multiple births. They attributed this to their diet which is high in yams.

However, Phakisi said she had never taken hormonal therapy nor been a fan of yams.

Samantha Phakisi's third set of twins. (Supplied)

Maternal twins

Asked whether there was any history of twins from the father, Phakisi said twins were a maternal geology.

"Twins can never be paternal. It is not dependent on the man," she said, explaining that a man produced millions of sperm. Usually, the one sperm that met with the egg went on to produce a baby.

READ MORE: This is how twins are created

Looking at Phakisi's stature however, one would never guess that her body has carried six little ones before.

She attributes that to her mother's good genes. 

Phakisi does admit that being a mother to six can be costly especially because all her children are different with different interests, from sport, to food, to clothes.

"Individuality is expensive," said Phakisi.

Giving an example, she explained that while she doesn't teach her children to be attached to branded clothing, they go to school and have friends and are exposed to such things.

"One of the older boys is a Puma fan and the other is into Nike," she said.

"One thing I knew is that I didn't want to confine them to their disposition of being twins. They are all different characters," she said.

"Each wants different things and we try to humour them but we also teach them to be grateful," she said.


Phakisi said the situation the four twins were brought up under has made them very mature for their age.

"They are children [and] I try to teach to negotiate their emotions and I teach them to express whether it's a need or want. I teach them to reason properly," she said.

Phakisi said she prides herself with the way her children are all able to support and stand up for her disabled son Remy who cannot walk or talk.

"The disability does take its toll but because we cannot imagine our lives without him. We don't see him as a burden. When we make plans, we have him in mind. When we go to movies, we ensure that the cinema is wheelchair-friendly. When we have to eat out, we understand his chewing is not so strong so we need to ask that his food be chopped quite thinly," Phakisi said.

"But we never ask for special treatment."

‘Humbling honour’

Since being a family of eight, Phakisi says they have not yet gone on holiday or visited friends of family for a sleepover but she doubts it would be a big deal.

"I travel light so it won't be different. We would just add extra sets of clothes for the girls. We have always travelled with nappies around because Remy has been using them since he was born," she said.

"The car will obviously have to change. We would need something bigger but of course we can't go sleep over at friends or family. There is no space for all of us," she says with a laugh.

Her life or household may not be like the typical household but Phakisi is grateful for it all and would never trade it for anything.

"I ask myself what God has seen in me to entrust me with them... It is a humbling honour," she said.

She believes her family is complete with her three daughters and her three sons and doesn't see herself making any more additions to the family.

"I cannot ask for anything more," she said.

Read more on:    pretoria

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