Tanganyika Triplets

6/13/38 LIFE

Wondering why you’ve never heard of Tanganyika? Well, much like Istanbul was Constantinople, Tanganyika is now Tanzania. You’ve heard of that, yes? As stated in this editorial, triplets were unusual in Africa. Frankly, triplets are always unusual. But what’s most unusual is a white couple giving birth to black triplets. That happened.

How? Well, much like the recent news that Sofía Vergara will not allow her frozen embryos with former lover Nick Loeb to ever grow into human beings, couples with fertility problems often have leftover embryos after successful in vitro. Some are donated to research and some, like Sofia’s, will die. The Halberts, missionaries who had previously adopted two children of color, decided to implant leftover embryos from the National Embryo Donation Center into Rachel’s uterus. It took! And took, and took. She delivered triplets of her own, and now they are a happy family of five.


Elephant Baby Born To Local Woman

Good Housekeeping Feb 1958
Good Housekeeping Feb 1958

Actually, that sturdy baby might just be a victim of perspective. That’s not where I came to hear the term “elephant baby” anyway. It was the headline of a small article in the Houston Chronicle in 1926, when folks were a little less politically correct.

You see, when I worked in healthcare 20 years ago, my boss was a solid tower of a man, even then in his 70s. He could have played in the NBA. I remember him telling me what the article said: “Elephant baby born to Mr. and Mrs. (Such & Such). The baby boy weighed 14 lbs and was 26 inches long. This is the biggest baby ever born in Houston.”

As far as I know, he’s still going strong. Elephant babies are built for endurance.

Oppa Chunky-Style


Sweet Lord, that’s a jumbo-sized newborn!  I can see why Mom’s not smiling–or laughing-or jumping rope–or coughing–anymore.  Unless that baby was delivered C-section, there’s a 99% of light bladder leakage in the forecast.  Where is Whoopi Goldberg when you need her?


No one likes a fragile, underweight infant.  A big chub is the picture of good health.  But that double-digit pounded baby in the Mennen ad is intended to depict a newborn.  Really?  Here is the small print:


I think we’re gonna need a few more cans, Ma! There’s a lot of swaddling to be done…

According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the “heaviest baby born to a healthy mother was a boy weighing 10.2 kg (22 lb 8 oz) who was born to Sig. Carmelina Fedele (Italy) at Aversa, Italy in September 1955.”  There’s no pic to back that up, but let’s just recognize that it’s even bigger than this one.


It’s straight to bottles for you, Michelin boy!  Even La Leche League gave his mom a free pass on the nursing.  Seriously, his arms look like little Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.  Bless his heart.


I’m not saying the redheaded Mennen baby isn’t precious; with a good heavy lifting belt velcroed around my waist, I’d like to hold it as well.  I’d just like a little more truth in advertising.  BTW, I wonder what that now-fifty-five-year-old baby looks like?  Could it be that that little porker was Kevin Bacon?

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