A MUM-of 16 has revealed how she didn’t want any kids at all until her baby mad husband convinced her to have a few.
Jeni and Ray Bonell are the parents of Australia’s biggest family who are known for their super-sized brood, with the doting mum opening up about her long pregnancy journey online.
Jeni and Ray Bonell are parents to 16 kids – but still want more
Jeni did a Q&A on YouTube where she answered some common questions she receives about her family.
There, she revealed how, despite never wanting kids at all, she came to have 16 – nine boys and seven girls aged between 31 and six.
While being pregnant 16 times is enough to make your eyes water, the Queensland mum admitted she’s actually been pregnant 23 times, but, sadly, had a few miscarriages along the way.
Jeni and Ray are parents to Jesse, Brooke, Claire, Natalie, Karl, Samuel, Cameron, Sabrina, Tim, Brandon, Eve, Nate, Rachel, Eric, Damian and Katelyn – with the broody mum admitting she’s STILL open to having more.
Mum Jeni admitted she didn’t want any, but her husband Ray wanted at least four to six kidsCredit: thebonellfamily_/Instagram
Jeni had been pregnant 23 times, suffering multiple miscarriages
Speaking on the video, she answered a fan question about how many times she had been pregnant, revealing the answer to be 23, “an absolute blessing.”
Jeni, 51, said: “For somebody who started out not wanting children. I can remember saying to Ray, I am not interested in having kids, really just don’t want any.”
Jeni shared how Ray came from a family of six and wanted four or six kids of his own – but she insisted that was “not going to happen”.
Jeni said: “I agreed to have one, maybe two babies, which was just so wonderful.
“It opened up my heart to what I was called to do in life, from there it was me who asked the hubby if we could have a third baby.”
They currently have 16 kids but will continue trying for moreCredit: The Bonell Family/Facebook
Jeni opened up in a Q&A on YouTube
At this point, the couple had one son and two daughters and Ray hoped for another boy – which would make their family “complete”.
However, the fourth was a little girl which prompted them to continue growing their family.
Sadly the next time she fell pregnant she suffered a miscarriage, but very quickly fell pregnant again – having another little boy.
The parents were lucky enough to reach 12 children before they experienced another miscarriage – and when trying for baby 16, suffered four in a row.
Jeni said: “There was discussion then of extending our family to a much larger size.
The mum often shares her family’s huge supermarket hauls
“We shut our eyes and jumped into family. We were enjoying this process of growing our family.
“We got to baby 15 and were still open to having baby 16, but we had four misarriages in a row. It was a very difficult time.”
Little Caitlin did eventually arrive and Jeni revealed that she has not been able to have a 17th baby yet – despite her and Ray not doing anything to prevent a pregnancy.
Jeni admitted she would be blessed and more than happy to continue having children, but is aware of the fact it may not happen.
Speaking of her large family, she said: “We haven’t managed to fall pregnant since then. Will we only ever have 16 kids? Maybe so.
Jeni’s weekly shop usually comes to AU$450 (£251)Credit: thebonellfamily_/Instagram
Each shop is huge and includes multiple boxes of cerealCredit: thebonellfamily_/Instagram
“Are we happy with that? Absolutely. We are so joyful with what we have been given. We just love our kids so much. I feel so honoured to be a mum, I couldn’t think of a better path for my life.
“Here I was planning that I wasn’t going to have any children. I would have missed out on so much if I had followed that path.”
Continuing to answer some other common questions, Jeni revealed that all of their kids were conceived naturally without IVF.
What’s more, despite many assuming some kids might be adopted, Jeni reassured her fans that all 16 children were Jeni and Ray’s biological kids.
She said: “I think people are surprised that we are a married couple and we’ve had all these kids together.
“I love seeing people’s faces and reactions when you tell them you have, it is really priceless at times.”
She admitted that life can actually be a little more stressful now with grown children than when she had a just handful of babies.
Jeni previously shared how she often does a whopping supermarket shop at the start of the week, which usually costs AU$450 (£251).