twitter facebook stumble upon rss

The Octomom Has Nothing on This Family

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

They have SEVENTEEN kids!

Large Family

Christina Montoya Fiedler: The story you are about to read is true. It involves good old-fashioned baby making, a large, lively Mexican family and the rhythm method. If you're a good Catholic woman, you know what I am talking about.

I've known my best friend Sarah (who is also my son Joseph's nina by the way), since we were in high school. She comes from a big family, but the reality of this never really hit home until I decided to start my own.

Sarah's mother, Sandy, comes from a family of 17. You read that right -- seventeen.

Abuelita Elena had eight girls and nine boys. For those of you who are keeping tabs, that's three more children than Octomom currently has. I hope she isn't reading this article, lest she try IVF one more time to out do them.

But, here's where it is gets interesting. We're talking 17 unique births. No multiples. If you do the math, here's what we are looking at: 126 total months or 10.5 years total of being pregnant. That's about one eighth of her lifetime -- all for the sake of raising a healthy, happy, big family. She had her first baby when she was 17, her last when she was 47.

Today, Sarah has 50 first cousins. These guys could populate their own city. In fact, they kind of do. Most of them live in a small town south of San Diego, CA called Brawley.

There's even a street named after the family. It's such a small town, that Sarah says every time she's even been out in Brawley shopping, eating or what have you, she's run into at least one cousin.

I thought of Sarah's family when I first heard of the Octomom, the now famed single mother who just gave birth to octuplets, bringing her total kiddie head count to fourteen.

Unlike the Octomom, Abuelita Elena did not become famous because of her children.

There were no press conferences. People didn't follow her around and ask for autographs. No one mailed her cases of baby food or jumbo packs of diapers. She didn't her rely on her parents to support them financially. She did it all herself, with her husband, and had each of her children with the intention of loving them unconditionally. It was a simpler life back then, and all she asked for in return was to be blessed with happiness and health.

Isn't that what we all want for our families?

next: Octomom No Stranger to Children's Services
6 comments so far | Post a comment now
chris March 4, 2009, 6:56 AM

I have no problem at all with big families. I think people should be able to have one or ten if they can support them by themselves. I just think it’s really sad to bring a child into a world in which you know you can’t give them even the basic of care (food, clothes, home) No one says that every child needs cell phones, ipods, designer clothes and shoes to survive but they need the basic. My family didn’t grow up with a lot of money in fact for a brief time after my dad passed away, we were on food stamps and free lunches at school so I know that sometimes life will throw you a curve and you do what you have it to get by but to live your whole life at the mercy of the government or society is not providing for your family.

anon March 4, 2009, 10:32 AM

Yeah, the title could also read “Unlike the Michelle Duggar, Abuelita Elena didn’t become famous because of her children”
i have no problem with big families either….let’s not be one-sided though

tricia March 4, 2009, 3:09 PM

Well written story about my family Christina. My grandma truly was a pillar of strength and love. I miss her everyday!

Jill (the other one) March 4, 2009, 5:39 PM

Abuelita Elena is awesome :o)

Anonymous March 4, 2009, 9:58 PM

I even saw one of my cousins at Disneyland! Oh, I was shopping in San Diego and I saw one of my cousins from my dad’s side of the family!

marie March 9, 2009, 10:38 PM

Big families are great — BUT —! My own great grandmother had 13 and raised an additional 13 grandchildren. My husband’s mother had 14 children — he was the baby. All children in both families were single births. Both sets of parents raised their own children and didn’t expect hand-outs from their parents, friends, strangers, or the government.
I applaud the professional who made the report to Family and Children Services. I just retired from the agency, and know from what I have seen of Nadya that she has mental and emotional issues. In addition to this, even an individual with a healthy mind could not raise this many children (all the same age) alone. These children will suffer. And they will not be safe. Her mind is not right now; it could get even worse, when faced with the challenges ahead. I hope Family and Children Services will look at the best interest of the children.

Back to top >>