Mum-of-10 Courtney Rogers has not been without a bump for more than nine months since getting married to husband Chris Rogers, 32, in 2008.
The couple, who have six boys and four girls aged between nine months and 10 years, also homeschool their brood. They live on a 12-acre plot in Santa Fe county, New Mexico, and drive a 15-seater van.
Their monthly food bills are $1,200 (£975) and in January they went on an economy drive – cutting out all eating out and fun purchases, as it was costing them well over $1,000 (£812) a month.
The children are happy to wear hand-me-down clothes and shoes, and the family shop in the sales to save money. At Christmas, Courtney and Chris forgo presents for one another, so they can spend $1,000 (£812) on gifts for their children. And the couple enjoy one child-free date together a year.
Their last was in November when friends looked after the children. Though they get little alone time, Courtney wants two more children to make their brood more like the family in Steve Martin comedy Cheaper by the Dozen.
‘We want to have more if we can,’ said Courtney, whose youngest children Caydie and Coralee were born just 361 days apart. ‘We want to have 12 children, a family of 14 even.
‘My husband is the eldest of 10, so before we got married, he joked about having as many as his mum had. ‘Having several kids in diapers at once and having lots of strollers – this is normal life to us.’
Keeping two bottle-fed lambs, dogs and chickens on the 12 acres of land where they live, neither Chris nor Courtney find teaching their children a chore.
Courtney says she loves being pregnant and is against using birth control for personal reasons. But it’s also been a tough journey for the couple who had two miscarriages.
Superbly organised, she and Chris usually start the day at 7.30am, when they wake up with baby Coralee and put together breakfast of cereal and fruit for the other children, who are up and out of bed by 8am.
‘The morning is the most hectic part of the day – there is always so much going on, with kids running everywhere,’ explained Courtney.
The older children, who each have chores to make sure the day runs smoothly, help clear up after breakfast and Courtney starts her day of classes – giving the kids a break after a few hours to help bottle feed the lambs. ‘On a good day, I will also get three washing machine loads of clothes etc done,’ she said.
‘Then everybody helps out with lunch – it will be something like sandwiches or leftovers – and I’ll put the little ones down for their afternoon nap, while the other kids watch a movie or get their chores done.’
Despite the World Health Organisation recommending a gap of 18 to 24 months between pregnancies, Courtney – who was advised by doctors after two caesareans to try and leave a longer time if she wants to have vaginal births – sees no reason to stop having children any time soon.
‘I’ve been told there is a higher risk of haemorrhaging if you have lots of babies, but that’s never been something which has worried or affected me, because I give birth in hospitals so they are prepared,’ she said.
‘I had my first baby when I was 25. I didn’t think they would all come so fast, but, of course, I wouldn’t change it.’