The Weirdest Thing about My Health


You would think having nine children would turn you into a frazzled wreck with a figure like the Pillsbury Doughboy and a brain gone to mush. Not necessarily.

People look at me, their eyebrows shoot up, their mouths drop open and they sputter, “YOU had 9 children??”

This is because I am 5′ 1″ and weigh 104 lbs.  I was pregnant or nursing for 17 years without a break. I have been pregnant 10 times and I am healthy and happy and I have my BBB back. (That would be my Before Babies Body). I did not diet.

My husband and I halfheartedly followed natural family planning but I am a rare case; I have conceived 5 DAYS before ovulation. As my wonderful doctor once said,

“Ah yes, there was a woman in New Zealand who conceived 5 days before ovulation about two years ago. ”

Once again, my body did not follow the rules. I also deliver 3 weeks early because my babies would be 9-10 lbs. if I didn’t. Although I am tiny, my deliveries were all natural without drugs or ripping and tearing. After short labours, I feel great with little pain. My doctor was my defender. For example

Our family doctor, who was also my obstetrician, had warned us to come into town immediately with my first labour pains. My eighth child was going to be born quickly. Dr. H met me outside the hospital, helped me out of our old mini-bus, into a wheelchair and literally ran past admitting with a huge grin on his face yelling,

 “Sorry. No time to admit her.  I’ll do the paperwork for her after the delivery. See you later!”

He was still chuckling in the elevator over the shocked expression on the admitting clerk’s face. We moved slowly out of the elevator onto the obstetrical floor and Dr. H peered around the corner to check the nursing station. My doctor sighed happily,

“Good. The head nurse is on coffee break and no one is in the natural birthing room. Olga is going to have a fit when she sees your stats on the board and that you are in here!”

He laughed loudly this time as we darted into the softly lit room. Michael walked in a little later, holding 18- month old Katie with her sun suit on backwards, straps crossed across her chest. A nurse turned to me and said,

“Let me guess. Daddy dressed her.”

I smiled weakly in between labour pains because the nurse barely had time to check my vital signs before Anthony was born. Michael had pulled the curtain around my bed partly closed to block Katie’s view of the labour and delivery. Since she refused the cookie bribe offered by a nurse outside at the station, Katie was still with Michael. As soon as Anthony was born, my husband whipped the curtain open and passed Katie to a nurse so he could cut his son’s umbilical cord.

I am a happy anomaly.

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