“‘You don’t look old enough to have 10 children!’
‘Well, my oldest is only 9…’
Besides having 10 children (and counting) our family is known for having children super close in age. So close, in fact, that seven of them are the same age as a sibling for a certain part of the year. With one set of fraternal twins and three sets of ‘Irish Twins,’ our household is full of noise, messes, and laughter.
My husband and I are both the oldest of large families (6 and 10 children). We talked about children before marriage, but I don’t think I ever wanted a certain number. I do remember my husband suggesting having 10 because his mother had 10. I scoffed and said I was ‘too old.’ My oldest child ended up being born just before my 26th birthday.
God must have heard me laugh and in just under 10 years of marriage, we were blessed with 11 pregnancies. That includes seven singletons, one set of twins, two miscarriages, and one due here shortly. Is it tiring to be constantly pregnant? Thankfully, my body handles pregnancy well, and believe it or not, I still get thrilled with each positive test. I’m starting to recognize the early signs and usually get a positive test before a missed cycle. We can’t surprise our family and friends though because by now, everyone expects the news. My husband isn’t really surprised either because it’s been a normal part of our entire marriage. I’m sure that sounds so foreign to most people, but since it’s all we’ve ever known, the experience of going a few years without a pregnancy would be extremely foreign to us.
Of course managing so many littles has its challenges. Even though they may drive me batty at times I can’t imagine being happy doing anything else. Some of the challenges are having multiple babies in diapers, finding more than one sitter at a time, having to book more than one hotel room, driving and parking a 15-passenger van, washing tons of laundry, always cleaning up messes, etc., etc. Oh! And did I mention the staring and comments we get out in public? The ‘You must have your hands full’ comments when I’m out with just two or three of the children are always amusing. If they only knew! Once when I was out with two of my girls, someone asked if I was going to try for a boy. I had to break the news to her I already had six boys. We’ve also had a few rude encounters. From unpleasant stares to statements like, ‘Did you have them all with the same partner?!’ or ‘Seven kids? That’s terrible!’
One of the perks of having so many littles is having more than one child on the same mental/physical level. Because of that they usually play well together and enjoy doing the same things. Another thing I enjoy is all the excitement we experience at Christmas, birthdays, and family trips. I actually gave birth to a party! I hope my children will grow up remembering all the fun and chaos we had together.
We get asked at times whether or not we plan on having more children. The honest truth? I really don’t know. Due to complete placenta previa and a cord issue during my twin pregnancy I’ve already had to have two c-sections. Thankfully, I found a great team of midwives at our university’s hospital and I’ve had the opportunity to VBAC since then. I’m sure by now I’m one of their regulars and folks at the ultrasound office even recognize me and my chart. Some people have expressed concern about my health, but the rest of my pregnancies have been complication free and full term. However, I know anything can happen in the future and if other complications come our way, we’ll wisely consider our family planning options.
Until then, I reckon we’ll continue to take them as they come and celebrate each positive pregnancy test and the unique little life it brings. Children are a blessing indeed.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Courtney Rogers, 35, of New Mexico. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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