“What is one topic that couples talk about before getting married?”
Whether they want children and, if yes, how many they desire.
I don’t recall having a precise number in mind when my spouse and I had this discussion 12 years ago. I’d always known I wanted kids. My husband, on the other hand (who is always the planner), recommended that we have ten like his parents.
What’s my reaction? Laughter. ‘I’m way past my prime!’ I responded.
About a month after our wedding, I got a positive pregnancy test. I was thrilled! It was a dream come true to start a family so easily. The excitement was short-lived when we experienced a miscarriage just before the 6-week mark. I was heartbroken. Sure, it was an early loss, but it was a wanted pregnancy and the end of a dream.
‘When will I get pregnant again? Will I lose that one too?’
Six months later I got another positive test. I was both excited and scared. Thankfully, that baby stuck and in March of 2010, we were blessed with our first child. The delivery went well and we continued with life as a family of three. Sixteen months later, our second child arrived and thirteen months after that, number three came along.
The babies were coming closer and closer and when our third child was only 3 months old, I found out that number 4 was on the way. These babies would be just under a year apart. Upon research, I discovered the term ‘Irish Twins.’ I must admit I was a little embarrassed to announce this pregnancy. ‘What will everyone think? I have a 3-month-old!’
Due to total Previa, our fourth kid was born just over 6 weeks early. We had a baby, a three-year-old, a two-year-old, a ten-month-old, and a three-year-old. Surprisingly, I don’t recall things being that difficult at the time. I adored being a mother, and after three boys, having our first daughter was a dream come true.
Sometime after that, I began to not really care what people thought about our family size. Healthy pregnancies and healthy babies aren’t a curse. I was thankful for each one God sent our way.
Here I am now, pregnant with our 11th child. My oldest is only 10 and will still be so by the time this baby arrives. We had twins in 2015 and 7 of our kids are so close together that they are the same age as a sibling for part of the year.
Do you have any difficulties as a result of your children being so close in age? Yes, it began when the twins were born to me. Our youngest child was only five years old at the time, and I could no longer leave the house without my husband. Just for newborns and toddlers, we packed two shopping carts. In those days, a baby wore a lot of clothing. Finding a babysitter is sometimes an issue. Who wants to keep track of ten children? As a result, my spouse and I make certain that our schedules do not conflict. Date nights away from the house are uncommon. They frequently occur when we visit family in the east.
All in all the blessings, fun, and laughter outweigh the bad. I love being a large family mom. I don’t know how many kids we’ll end up with, but I’m happy with the choices I’ve made and have no regrets.”