A WOMAN has told how she had 11 babies in a decade – and plans to try for a 12th.
Marrying church pastor Chris Rogers, 32, in October 2008, stay-at-home mum Courtney Rogers, 36, from New Mexico, USA, has brought six healthy boys and five girls into the world.
And in November she gave birth to 11th tot, a girl called Caris who as a result of a difficult delivery needed oxygen post-birth.
Courtney, mum to Clint, 10, Clay, nine, Cade, eight, Callie, seven, Cash, five, twins Colt and Case, five, Calena, three, Caydue, two, and Coralee, one, told on her Instagram page how Caris arrived on November 29 weighing 9lb 3oz.
"The ending was rough," she said. "I knew the baby wasn't dropped very low but I was advised to push anyway. The lack of progress and most likely the baby's size ended up causing complications for both of us."
Both mum and baby were in hospital for a few days afterwards but are now home.
Caris was Courtney's first winter baby and she celebrated Christmas at home with her siblings.
Courtney, whose life is so busy she only has one "date night" a year with Chris, who drives the family around in a 15 seater van, previously said: “We’re delighted to be expecting again.
“I always get nervous because we’ve had two first trimester miscarriages.
“There have been no complications and I’ve been feeling good throughout, although this baby has the same due date as the baby we lost four years ago at 11 weeks.
“In the early stages, I was thankful and it brought comfort, but it also felt like I was living through the same pregnancy timeline. I was so relieved to hear her heartbeat during our early scans.
“I’ve never had more than three boys or girls in a row and now we're expecting a little girl after our youngest, Coralee, aged one, so I've broken the record as this is my fourth girl in a row. The kids are so excited.”
Chris and Courtney, who spend $1,200 (£936) every month on food for the family, also home school their children and launched an economy drive in January – stopping all eating out and unnecessary purchases, which were costing them well over $1,000 (£780) a month.
11 kids and counting…
March 13, 2010 – Clint was born weighing 8lbs 14oz
July 26, 2011 – Clay was born weighing 7lbs 13oz
September 16, 2012 – Cade was born weighing 6lbs 9oz
July 25, 2013 – Callie was born weighing 4lbs 8oz
October 24, 2014 – Cash was born weighing 7lbs 6oz
September 12, 2015 – Colt was born weighing 4 lbs 6 oz
September 12, 2015 – Case was born weighing 3lbs 8oz
May 9, 2017 – Calena was born weighing 6 lbs 6oz
June 10, 2018 – Caydie was born weighing 7lbs 9oz
June 6, 2019 – Coralee was born weighing 8lbs 9oz
November 29, 2020 – Caris is born weighing 9lb 3oz
Saving money by handing down the older children's clothes, their big treat is an annual week-long camping holiday near their relatives in Georgia, 1,500 miles away – costing $1,000 (£780) for travel and expenses.
Meanwhile, at Christmas, Courtney – who only had eight months between giving birth to Coralee and falling pregnant again – and Chris forgo presents themselves, so they have more money to lavish on their little ones.
But the rare occasions when they do spend time alone together are particularly special, according to Courtney.
Recalling their last date night in November 2019, she said: "We walked downtown and ate a little something at several restaurants."
But family is what life is all about for the devoted parents.
“We want to have 12 children, a family of 14 even," said Courtney.
“My husband is the eldest of 10, so before we got married, he joked about having as many children as his mum had.
“The kids want us to be like the film Cheaper by the Dozen, where the parents compromise their careers to raise 12 children.
“Having several kids in diapers at once and lots of strollers is normal life to us."
And she does not believe that having an 11th baby will cause any additional work.
I’ve never had more than three boys or girls in a row and now we're expecting a little girl after our youngest, Coralee, aged one, so I've broken the record as this is my fourth girl in a row. The kids are so excited.
“I don’t think it will make much difference to our day to day schedule. They will just fit right in and we’ll carry on," she said.
“This will be our first baby around the holiday season – just a week before Thanksgiving Day and not long before Christmas, so that will be a bit different. It will definitely make things more hectic for the celebrations and more expensive!
"I love being pregnant," said Courtney, who has never had morning sickness and chooses not to use birth control, which she says is not on religious grounds.
"I love growing another person inside me, thinking about what they will be like and picking out names.
“I am the only mum at our church who has lots of kids. I think the most anyone else has is four.
“But I have never been comfortable going on birth control, as I don’t like the idea of taking a pill and I love having a big family.”
Running her family like clockwork, she gets up with Coralee at 7.30am, making sure the other children are up and having their breakfast of cereal and fruit by 8am.
The older children all have chores and help to clear up after breakfast, before starting classes – having a break after a few hours to help out with the farm.
Everyone mucks in to make lunch of sandwiches or leftovers, before the younger children have a nap and the others watch a film or do their chores.
And, despite World Health Organisation advice to leave an 18 to 24 month gap between pregnancies, Courtney – who was advised by doctors after the caesareans to leave a longer time if she wants to have vaginal births – sees no reason to stop adding to her brood.
"I've been told there is a higher risk of haemorrhaging if you have lots of babies, but I don't worry about it, as I try and give birth in hospital and they're prepared," she said.
“For most of my births, Chris has dropped me off at hospital, then had to go home to look after the other kids.”
Courtney does admit that she found bringing up seven children under the age of six “challenging.”
She said: “I have been criticised for having my children so close together, but I take good care of myself and my babies.
“The people who ask how I can give all my kids enough attention are usually those who send their kids off to school.
You can follow Courtney on Instagram @littlehouseinthehighdesert
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