Going from an only child to a family of 7

Is your older son ok? How is he handling all these new babies? These are the questions I constantly get from friends, family and even strangers.

Our story is quite unique. We went from having one child to having five children in 13 months.

When I found out I was pregnant with our 5th child I was in shock. It wasn’t that we didn’t want more children but because we already had 4 at home, 3 of which were under the age of 6 months. I mean it literally took 4 – yes FOUR IVF treatments to get pregnant. Plus the fact that we used a surrogate to ensure a baby. My pregnancy happily went full term and our surrogate wound up having twins. Never in our wildest dreams did we think we could get this lucky until our surprise pregnancy. Still so hard to believe we fulfilled our dream of having a big family come true and then naturally pregnant. We realized we were beyond blessed, but also a little nervous having 4 babies in 13 months. Plus having a teen at home-that would need our attention.

Many have asked how is our eldest son Hunter handling 3 new little sisters and a brother and the answer is he has taken it in stride. We are not naive to the fact that this is a lot for a 13 year old boy to handle. My husband and I thought long and hard on how to make sure that he didn’t get lost in the fray. 

We knew once our 5th baby arrived free time would be even more scarce. We would have 4 babies under the age of 13 months. We wanted Hunter to know he’s always included, so dad, Hunter and I made a list of 3 baby boy names and Hunter chose the name. Yup, he named our youngest son. We felt no better way to make him feel important! 

We talk a lot about when Hunter was a baby. Recently he commented, ‘I’m so lucky I had 11 years with you all to myself, Harlow only had 4 months without the twins’ Exactly. You are a lucky boy. 

We review Hunter’s upcoming school events and outside extracurriculars every Sunday, so he knows his needs and activities are still a priority.

We are doing our best. Hunter is still young and and we get it. Even when pregnant, with 3 baby girls and a pre-term condition, he still would ask me to go shoot hoops at the park. He just wanted to play and we want that for him! Let a kid be a kid. 

Hunter is an amazing big brother and helps where he can. More importantly, Hunter is the best role model we could have asked for to this new crew.