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Home   Ashford   News   Article

Ashford midwife Virginia Howes may be a Guinness World Record holder after delivering nine babies for Tonia Farrant of Maidstone

11 July 2014
by Suz Elvey

Virginia Howes, of Repton Park, was there for the birth of the two boys and seven girls of Tonia and Jason Farrant, who are in the process of moving their huge brood to Greatstone on Romney Marsh.

The independent midwife has contacted Guinness World Records but is just pleased to have been a part of something so special.

Midwife Virginia Howes believes she may be a record holder

Midwife Virginia Howes believes she may be a record holder

She said: “I think it must be a record. I don’t think there’ll be any other woman in the country who has had the same midwife for nine babies.

“It’s wonderful for me as a midwife to be able to be such an important part of a family, and I really do feel like part of the family.

“I visited each child for the first month of their life and I am actually a guardian – the non-religious version of a godmother – to the eldest, Kerrec.”

Mrs Howes wrote about the unusually large family in her new book The Baby’s Coming.

Mrs Farrant, 40, has been pregnant for 81 months of her life, her babies have varied in size from 5lb to 10lb, and labours have lasted between three hours and 27.

The Farrant family brood

The Farrant family brood

The children, born over 10 years and ranging in age from two to 12, are: Aerojen, Markeeta, Kerrec, Anelka, Ennieco, Orlena, Anzonia, Carneya and Tobella.

And all except youngest, Tobella, were born at home in a birthing pool.

Mrs Farrant said: “It is hard work, I think people don’t realise how tough it can be.”

The couple, who currently live in Maidstone and do not receive benefits other than child benefit, say they spend £310 a week on food shopping and get through 40 pints of milk a week.

Nine children in 10 years - the Farrant family

Nine children in 10 years - the Farrant family

They read to their offspring almost every night and find inventive ways to entertain them - such as going for a picnic or visiting a free airshow - because they can’t afford the entrance fee for all 11 family members at attractions such as Chessington World of Adventures or Legoland.

Mr Farrant, 41, runs his own carpentry business.

Every night, two hours is set aside to bathe and put their offspring to bed at their four-bedroom home in Coxheath.

Virginia Howes talks about the nine Farrant babies in her book

Virginia Howes talks about the nine Farrant babies in her book

And getting everyone breakfasted and out to school is an operation that sees the couple rise at 5.30am and keep going until 7.30am. Transport is by way of a van.

They will soon move from a crowded house in Maidstone to a six-bedroom home in the coastal village for a more relaxing life.

The stay-at-home-mum said: “Maidstone is like a mini city now. We just want to spend the next 10 years with the children enjoying them. We don’t want to look back and say we never had time. We want to relax and be with them by the sea and enjoy life.”

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