Short Thought 96 (fertility)

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.

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15 thoughts on “Short Thought 96 (fertility)

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Good question. You prompted me to look: 19 years between oldest and youngest. Your thought is likely right that there were miscarriages as well. Yikes is just right. Can I tell you I’m damn glad things have changed?!

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thank you for the link; for whatever reason, it was a post I missed yesterday when perusing your blog. Life IS very strange; I lived in fear, always, of pregnancy. Your piece is written with a lot of insight and compassion all the way around. Your decision absolutely sounds right. And if I may, to lighten the mood and address the matter of people’s careless comments about children, I might suggest a poker-faced response designed to quiet questioners, such as “We had a few kids but didn’t like them very much and gave them to the neighbors” or “We thought hard about it and decided to raise hamsters instead.”

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I know! And what would my great grandmother think of me, having NO children to her 17?! 12 is plenty too! Especially when you consider times weren’t exactly easy when women cranked out these big families.

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