Mom of 12 Boys Hopes for One More

parents of 12 boys

After my husband and I learned we were having a second boy, I had a few people ask me if I was interested in trying again for a girl. My answer then and now is that I’m happy with two kids, and while I may have felt a few pangs about missing out on the experience of parenting a daughter, I love having two boys. Also, repeatedly getting pregnant in the hopes of having another gender seems like a dicey strategy unless you WANT a giant household — like for instance the Schwandt family, who's waiting to see if their 13th child will be a boy like all the others.


Not that the Schwandts have a big family because they keep trying for a girl. I assume they have a big family because they wanted a big family, because otherwise they surely would have stopped six or seven kids ago. As it stands, the western Michigan couple have TWELVE sons, and they’re currently expecting baby number 13.

Their tradition is not to find out the baby’s sex in advance, so it’ll have to wait until Kateri Schwandt gives birth somewhere around her due date, which is May 9. They fully expect the child to be another boy, which isn’t surprising to hear. According to Kateri,

If we were to have a girl, I think we would go into shock. It would probably be disbelief.

Jay says he’s happy as long as the baby is healthy, but,

I've experienced all the boy stuff. As long as we are having all these children, it would be really neat to experience the other side. The stuff that goes on in this house is all-boy -- roughhousing and wrestling. If there was a little girl in there, I assume it would be different.

Their oldest son is 22, and their youngest was born last August. As for Kateri, she says she’s leaning somewhat toward the hope of not rocking the boat gender-wise:

A little girl would be neat to have in the house, but a little boy kind of takes the pressure off. We know what we are doing. Why change things up?

I can totally imagine feeling the same way. After parenting 12 (!!!) boys, I’d probably be nervous about bring a girl into the mix, simply because I’d be less confident in my child-wrangling skills. I’d also wonder if growing up with 12 (!!!) brothers would be challenging for a girl — but maybe she would end up feeling like the most precious, protected princess in all the land?

I’m sure they’ll be over the moon however it turns out, and luckily for Kateri Schwandt, she enjoys the process of brewing up all these kiddos:

I love being pregnant. I’ve spent half of my life being pregnant. It's very neat and very special.

More power to you, ma’am. I’m personally glad to have retired my maternity pants, but I admire your fortitude.

Do you think you’d be hoping for a girl or a boy in this situation?

Image via ginsnob/Flickr

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