My mother’s mother, i.e. my grandmother, was one of 17 – yes, that’s 17 – children, including 5 – my god, 5 – sets of twins. This information, like a lot of things heard or learned as a child, went essentially unquestioned. Only when I was older, did I try to think about what having 17 children would even mean. I still don’t know how to think about this. Part of me doesn’t entirely believe it. How did they feed them?? Where did they keep them?? I know they didn’t have money.
I do know that in my prime child-bearing years when I did NOT want to accidentally get pregnant, I never ever forgot that I descended from, shall we say, fertile stock.