Extraordinary mothers


Being a mother is challenging enough in itself, so spare a thought this Mother's Day for the following super mums, who through history have had to cope with a variety of unusual circumstances.

Image source: alenkasm


The unknown mother


One poor mum, wife of Russian man, Feodor Vassilyev, remains on record despite the fact that nobody even knows her name. Between 1725 and 1765, she is reputed to have given birth to 69 children of whom 67 survived beyond infancy. Giving birth to 16 sets of twins, seven triplets and four quadruplets she holds the record for the most children born of a single mother, yet her identity remains a mystery.

The sextuplets mother 

The first set of Sextuplets to survive infancy, was born to British born South African, Susan Wilson in 1974. A multiple birth in Liverpool in 1983 produced the first surviving all female sextuplets. The pregnancy was the rather spectacular result of Graham and Janet Walton’s thirteenth and final attempt at fertility treatment. Poor Graham must have felt rather out numbered!

The septuplets mother

The earliest recorded Septuplets were the product of the marriage of Thomas and Edith Bonham. Not much is known about the couple, other that they lived in the fifteenth century, were from Wiltshire, and were already the parents of twins when Edith gave birth to seven children one after the other.

The quintuplets mother

The story of the Dionne Quintuplets resulted in a Canadian TV-movie, such was it's notoriety. Million Dollar Babies, followed the fortunes of the five children of Canadian Elzine Dionne. Born into poverty in 1934, the children were made a ward of the King. They were kept until the age of nine in a specially constructed nursery complete with public viewing gallery. And boy were they viewed. A major tourist attraction, it is estimated that between 1936 and 1943, they were watched by as many as three million visitors.

The nonuplets mothers 

But how many children can a woman have at once? In 1971 Australian Geraldine Brodrick gave birth to nonuplets. She had 5 boys and four girls - but sadly none survived past six days. Also mother to nine was Zurina Mat Saad, a Malaysian woman who also gave birth to five boys and four girls, but again though, none survived. 

The controversial mother


A happier outcome was in store for Nadya Suleman, the Californian who in 2008 brought forth no less than six baby boys and two baby girls - all of whom lived to become the largest number of children to survive a multiple human pregnancy ever recorded. The births were very controversial at the time - owing to the large number of embryos that were deliberately transplanted into the woman’s womb. 

The miracle mother

The Chukwu Octuplets born as the result of IVF treatment in 1998 had previously held the record - of the eight babies, five girls and two boys survived. Parents Nkem Chukuru and Lyke Louis Udobi - Nigerian born American citizens went on to have another child in 2002 - without fertility treatment. They called the little girl, Devine Favor believing that God had given them back their lost daughter.

The blessed mother

Born in Albania in 1910, Mother Teresa was 18 when she joined the ‘Sisters of Loret’. After a short period in Ireland learning English, she was shipped off to India. It wasn’t until 1946 that she felt what she termed ‘‘a call within a call’ to go and help the poor and needy whilst living among them. When she died in 1997, the order that she founded - the Missionaries of Charity boasted 4000 sisters, a brotherhood numbering 300 and a total of 610 missions in 123 countries consisting of AIDS hospices, Leprosy and TB treatment centres, soup kitchens, children’s orphanages and schools.

The foster mother

Rio Hogarty, from Clondalkin - Dublin was awarded the title of Ireland’s Mum of the Year 2010. The 73 year old had fostered a grand total of 140 children over a 40 year period. The first child she took in was just three months old at the time - and still keeps in touch. Interviewed by the press, she said that she couldn’t believe how the time had flown by - but that she had no plans to stop. 

The young mother

Finally - if you are at all squeamish, stop reading here. Peruvian Lina Medina’s parents thought that their daughter’s distended abdomen was the result of a tumour. Her father carried her to hospital where a month later in May 1939 she gave birth to a baby boy. Young Lina a sufferer of the condition, extreme precocious adolescence never revealed the identity of the father. Her age at the time she gave birth? five years and eight months!

We hope you've enjoyed reading our list of super-mums and don't forget DotComGiftShop have a variety of unique Mothers Day gifts on offer to spoil her rotten on April 3rd.