A woman who has 10 babies in a decade and is expecting her 11th baby next month.
But Courtney Rogers doesn’t want to stop until her brood is 12 years old – like the plot in the 2003 Steve Martin comedy Cheaper by the Dozen.
The 36-year-old married Pastor Chris Rogers, 32, in October 2008 and has not been without a bump for more than nine months since then.
She gave birth to six healthy boys and four girls and is pregnant again. She is expecting another daughter on November 19.
Her first winter baby, she’s hoping her arrival makes Christmas – meaning the couple will spend $ 1,000 (£ 780) on gifts for their children between the ages of one and ten – even more special for the family who lives on 12 acres large farm in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA.
Courtney, whose life is so busy she only has one “date night” a year with Chris driving the family around in a 15-seat van, said, “We look forward to expecting it again.
“I always get nervous because we had two miscarriages in the first trimester, but we are now 33 weeks old and very excited. We can’t wait to hold this little one.
“There were no complications and I felt fine throughout, even though this baby has the same date of birth as the baby we lost four years ago at 11 weeks.”
She explained, “In the early stages I was grateful and comforting, but it also felt like I was going 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 at the age of one. That’s why I broke the record because this is my fourth girl in a row. The kids are so excited. “
Both of them have homeschooled, Chris and Courtney, who spend $ 1,200 a month (£ 936) on groceries for the family, also homeschooled their children and started an austerity program in January that stopped all eating and unnecessary shopping were what cost them a lot over $ 1,000 (£ 780) a month.
They save money by passing on older children’s clothing. Her big treat is a week long camping vacation near her relatives in Georgia, 1,500 miles away – and costing $ 1,000 (£ 780) in travel and expenses.
Meanwhile, at Christmas, Courtney – who had only eight months between giving birth to Coralee and being pregnant again – and Chris Forgo present themselves so they can have more money for their little ones.
According to Courtney, the rare instances when they spend time alone are especially special.
She recalled her last date in November 2019 and said, “We went downtown and ate at several restaurants.
“Then we went into a few shops and ended the night in the symphony when we heard Handel’s Messiah. It was very nice and we both enjoyed the quiet time alone. “
But family is what the devoted parent’s life is about.
“We want to have 12 children, even a family of 14,” Courtney said.
“My husband is the oldest of ten. Before we got married, he joked that he had as many children as his mother.
“The kids want us to be like the movie Cheaper by the Dozen, in which parents compromise their careers to raise 12 kids.”
“Having multiple children in diapers and lots of strollers at the same time is a normal life for us,” said Courtney.
And she doesn’t think having an 11th baby will add extra work.
“I don’t think this is going to make that much of a difference to our daily routine. They will fit just right and we will move on,” she said.
“This will be our first baby in the holiday season – just a week before Thanksgiving and not long before Christmas, so it will be a little different,” she added.
It will definitely make things more hectic and expensive for the celebrations!
“Hopefully I feel good enough to enjoy the festivities.”
She said, “My last three babies were born in the summer, so I didn’t have winter clothes for newborns, which meant I had to wait for the winter stock to come out.”
When two sheep, dogs and chickens are kept on their farm, the children are raised in a rural way in addition to their academic studies and often feed the animals between lessons.
“I love having my children with me all the time, seeing them study and knowing what they are learning,” said Courtney, who cut off her meetings before the coronavirus pandemic and also taught children in her church Sunday school.
Ever since Courtney met Chris in a community camp in Georgia in 2007 before tying the knot in October 2008, she has said she herself was the oldest of six children, she hasn’t looked back.
Unfortunately, she miscarried their first baby together and remembered: “When I got the positive test result, a dream came true, but then we lost it in December.”
But just five months later, she became pregnant again with her firstborn Clint.
“I love being pregnant,” said Courtney, who has never been sick in the morning and chooses not to use birth control, which she doesn’t think is religious.
“I love developing another person inside of me, thinking about what they’re going to look like, and choosing names.
“I am the only mother in our church who has many children. I think most of the others have four. “
Courtney said, “But I’ve never felt comfortable doing birth control because I don’t like the idea of taking a pill and I love having a big family.”
Mum to Clint, 10, Clay, nine, Cade, eight, Callie, seven, Cash, five, Colt and Case twins, five, Calena, three, Caydue, two and Coralee, one, Courtney had seven vaginal births, two cesarean sections and unfortunately two miscarriages.
She runs her family like clockwork and gets up at 7:30 a.m. with Coralee to make sure the other kids get up and have breakfast cereal and fruit at 8:00 a.m.
The older children have all the chores and help clean up after breakfast before they start class. After a few hours they take a break to help out on the farm.
Everyone has a simple lunch of sandwiches or leftovers before the younger kids take a nap and the others watch a movie or do their chores.
Chris is usually back from work for dinner, but sometimes works late and does odd jobs around town like building, landscaping, or helping with renovations to bring in extra cash.
Courtney is also environmentally conscious, using cloth diapers and towels during the day and compostable bamboo diapers at night.
And despite the World Health Organization’s advice to take an 18-24 month break between pregnancies, Courtney, who has been advised by post-caesarean doctors to leave for an extended period if she wants to have vaginal births, sees no reason not to her brood to enlarge more.
“I’ve been told that many babies are at greater risk of bleeding, but I’m not worried about that as I am trying to give birth in the hospital and they are prepared,” she said.
“I had my first baby when I was 25. I didn’t think they’d all come so quickly, but of course I wouldn’t change that.”
In fact, baby number three, Cade, came so quickly that she gave birth in the driveway in front of her house.
“It only took 15 to 20 minutes from waking up to delivery,” said Courtney.
She said, “For most of my births, Chris took me to the hospital and then had to go home to take care of the other children.”
The fourth baby, Callie, had a cesarean section due to complications caused by placenta previa – when the placenta partially or completely covers the mother’s cervix and she begins to bleed after a little over 33 weeks.
She then had a second caesarean section with twins Colt and Case – born six weeks in early September 2015, weighed just 4 pounds 6 ounces and 3 pounds 8 ounces – followed by a second miscarriage at 11 weeks.
Courtney admits that raising seven children under the age of six has been “challenging” for her.
“It kept me from doing anything on my own,” she said. “It’s easier now when they’re all older.”
Even so, she quickly defends her decision to have a large family with Chris.
She said, “I have been criticized for having my children so close together, but I take good care of myself and my babies.
“The people who ask how I can pay enough attention to all of my children are usually the ones who send their children to school.
“I don’t understand their logic when I’m with my children 24 hours a day.”
And they love to party – especially at Christmas.
She said, “We’ll start celebrating with music and decorations in early November.
“We get new pajamas for all children, an outfit for Christmas Day and three or four presents and stocking fillers.”
She added, “We ask them what they want and we can usually get whatever they ask for.
“Chris and I love being parents and we have a great time as a family.”
Meanwhile, Chris – who hasn’t ruled out looking for baby number 12 with Courtney – can’t wait to become a father again.
He said, “It is a great pleasure for me to see the children grow up.
“Everyone has their own gifts and I love it when you use them at home and in church.”