Published: 15:00, 04 July 2014 |
Tonia and Jason Farrant read to their offspring almost every night.
And despite being forgiven if they miss a session, they make the effort to share books with all of them – even the ones that can read by themselves.
The children, born over 10 years are: Aerojen, Markeeta, Kerrec, Anelka, Ennieco, Orlena, Anzonia, Carneya and youngest Tobella. They range in age from two to 12.
Every night, two hours is set aside to bathe and put their offspring to bed at their four-bedroom home in Heathside Avenue, Coxheath.
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.
The full-time mum claims proudly to have recently enjoyed a Saturday lie-in – until 7.30am.
The Farrant family, who do not receive benefits, have to fund a £310-a-week food shop and get through 40 pints of milk a week.
Back in 2007, Mrs Farrant and carpenter husband Jason, 41, vowed to stop at six children.
Mrs Farrant, 40, who is now preparing to move the brood to a six-bedroom home near New Romney, says she simply loves having children.
She said: “I have nine and they are healthy. You start to think any more will compromise the lifestyle of the ones you have.
“If you can’t take them to Chessington or listen to them read and find the time for them, you should stop.
“I don’t want them growing up and saying ‘we only had pass me downs’.
“It is hard work, I think people don’t realise how tough it can be.”
Every one of Mrs Farrant’s births has been with the same midwife, Virginia Howes. And all except youngest, Tobella, were born at home.
The midwife has included her patient in her new book The Baby’s Coming.
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 to be able to be such an important part of a family, and I really do feel like part of the family.”
“I have nine and they are healthy. You start to think any more will compromise the lifestyle of the ones you have" - Tonia Farrant
Virginia is waiting to hear back from Guinness World Records to find out if she is a record holder for delivering the most babies to one mother.
One way of looking at Mrs Farrant’s pregnancies is to say she has been expecting a baby for 81 months of her life.
Her babies have varied in size from 5lbs to 10lbs, and labours have lasted from three hours to 27.
She is an expert on potty training and has had all her children out of nappies by two.
Speaking about her move to south Kent, she added: “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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