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However, 100-year-old Muriel Bayne said you got in the swing of raising them after the first few.
Mrs Bayne celebrated the occasion with friends and family at Larnach Castle yesterday.
She lives at Brooklands Retirement Village in Mosgiel now, but was able to live independently in her own house until last year.
A self-described ''farmer's daughter and farmer's wife'', she was born Muriel Roulston in Purekireki in the Owaka Valley.
Mrs Bayne would go on to work at the Bruce Woollen Mill in Milton until she was 23 when she married farmer Oliver Bayne and moved to Taieri Mouth.
There she would go back to candle light as electricity had not quite reached her area.
The two would move around South Otago and the Taieri throughout their lives.
Together they had 12 children who would eventually bring them 24 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
Her only advice for a long life was to keep healthy, presumably in her case helped by her fresh farm diet. She also said it helped having a mostly stress-free life.
It was ''a lot of exercise'' running after her many children, she said. She quickly got used to it and the first six helped with the second six, she said.
These days Mrs Bayne continues her hobbies of knitting and embroidery, making ''bonnets and things'' for the great-grandchildren. She manages elaborate designs despite an eye injury she sustained as a young girl.
''I was jumping between two single beds ... I missed.''
Her youngest son, Gary Bayne, said his mother always managed to make a little go a long way.
''She was very crafty and resourceful. Nothing got wasted so to speak.''