Real life Cheaper by the Dozen couple are expecting their 12th baby – 12 years after celebrating their first arrival

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A couple who are set to become the real-life version of the family in classic comedy Cheaper by the Dozen are expecting their 12th baby – almost 12 years to the day since they celebrated their first arrival.

Already parents to 11 children – all of whose names begin with the letter ‘c’ – Courtney and Chris Rogers say their brood kept begging for “just one more” baby, so they could be like the film starring Steve Martin and Kate Baker as a mum and dad of 12.

Now stay-at-home mum Courtney, 37, says she and her church pastor husband Chris, 33, cannot wait to welcome their new arrival – due in March – into their home in Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA, adding: “We’re so excited as we had wanted 12.”

Courtney and husband Chris with the youngest baby, Caris. PA REAL LIFE
Courtney and husband Chris with the youngest baby, Caris. PA REAL LIFE

Courtney continued: “I’m very thankful that it’s happening, and the kids are still going to be close in age.

“I love it and I love being a stay-at-home mom. The new baby will be here right around when my oldest turns 12, in March next year.

“One reason my kids wanted us to have 12 is because of the movie, Cheaper by the Dozen. They’ve been wanting me to have another one and kept asking for, ‘Just one more, Mom, just one more.’”

Courtney Rogers and husband Chris live in New Mexico with their 11 children. PA REAL LIFE
Courtney Rogers and husband Chris live in New Mexico with their 11 children. PA REAL LIFE

While the couple, who home educate their brood, do not yet know if they are having a boy or a girl, Courtney is confident the baby’s name will begin with ‘c’ like their other children – Clint, 11, Clay, 10, Cade, eight, Callie, eight, Cash, six, six-year-old twins Colt and Case, Calena, four, Caydie, three, Coralee, two, and Caris, nine months.

“We’ve been tossing some names around, but we usually keep it a secret until the birth,” she laughed.

Courtney, who documents their busy lives on a 12-acre plot with their 140 animals, including pigs, sheep, dogs and chickens, on her Instagram page, @littlehouseinthehighdesert, says she did not start married life expecting to have so many children.

Courtney’s youngest daughter Caris. PA REAL LIFE
Courtney’s youngest daughter Caris. PA REAL LIFE

She said: “When we got married, I was 24. Then we had an early pregnancy loss, so Clint wasn’t born until just before I turned 26.

“At that point, I didn’t think I was starting motherhood that early. I had no clue we’d have this many.

“I did want to have a big family, but it was quite a surprise to get here and, so far, have everything working out as planned.”

Chris Rogers gardening with Colt and Calena. PA REAL LIFE
Chris Rogers gardening with Colt and Calena. PA REAL LIFE

She added: “We’re hoping to find out the sex of the baby in the first week of October. My husband would like a girl – that way we’d be completely even with six boys and six girls.

“But I would like another boy, because it’s been so long since we’ve had a baby boy. Either way, one of us will get our wish!”

Courtney does have some worries about a possible tricky delivery as, after three Caesareans, she can no longer opt for a vaginal birth, due to the risks to her and the baby’s health.

She said: “My youngest, Caris, had a scary beginning, so we’re a little bit nervous, but we also know we’re going to have a different delivery plan this time around.

“She was also nine days past her due date. We kept waiting and she just didn’t want to come.”

Caris’ birth was dramatic, as Courtney needed an emergency C-section, because her daughter was in distress and doctors feared the tot was not getting enough oxygen.

Courtney is now pregnant with her 12th child, due in March. PA REAL LIFE
Courtney is now pregnant with her 12th child, due in March. PA REAL LIFE

After her birth, she spent 15 days in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), where medics warned her parents she could face developmental delays.

But, despite a challenging entrance to the world, Caris has defied expectations, proving to be a happy, healthy addition to the family.

Courtney added: “This time we’re going to have a scheduled C-section at around 36-37 weeks.”

Courtney Rogers is mum to 11 children. PA REAL LIFE
Courtney Rogers is mum to 11 children. PA REAL LIFE

Despite worries about the delivery, Courtney loves being pregnant.

“I’ve always felt fine during my pregnancies,” she said.

“I don’t get morning sickness, I don’t have a lot of pain and I can keep up.”

Courtney’s youngest baby Caris was born in January. PA REAL LIFE
Courtney’s youngest baby Caris was born in January. PA REAL LIFE

She added: “It’s different for everyone, but my body usually takes pregnancy very well. We probably wouldn’t have had so many if not!”

Now a dab hand at motherhood, Courtney never even asks the older children to help out with the newer additions.

She said: “Once you get to a certain number, the parenting doesn’t really change.”

Three of Courtney’s children, Case, Calena and Caydie. PA REAL LIFE
Three of Courtney’s children, Case, Calena and Caydie. PA REAL LIFE

She continued: “With the last few, we brought them home from the hospital and it was like they’d always been there.

“I still mainly care for the babies and they sleep in my room. I might get one of the older kids to hold one of them while I’m finishing supper, but other than playing with them, that’s about all they do.”

Still home schooling them all, the couple also hope to help the older children to make the transition to online school or distance learning of some kind once the subjects get harder.

“That way someone can teach them while I focus on the little ones’ maths and reading,” Courtney explained.

Space remains their biggest concern with their ever-expanding family.

Courtney said: “We have a 15-passenger van, but when we go on trips, it gets very crowded and we usually have to pull a trailer.”

Courtney and Chris document life with their family on Instagram. PA REAL LIFE
Courtney and Chris document life with their family on Instagram. PA REAL LIFE

She added: “The last time we took a vacation, we rented a house, because we’re just getting too big for even two hotel rooms and run out of space.”

They are also extending their home – originally a three-bedroom property – to accommodate their soon-to-be 12 children, two to a bedroom.

“My husband’s been working on it and it should be done by Christmas,” Courtney said.

Courtney’s five oldest children. PA REAL LIFE
Courtney’s five oldest children. PA REAL LIFE

She continued: “We’ll have seven bedrooms, four bathrooms – so two kids to a room.”

And she plans to continue documenting family life on Instagram – in spite of any negativity she receives.

“Mostly people are supportive,” she said.

Family dinner for Courtney and Chris’ 11 children. PA REAL LIFE
Family dinner for Courtney and Chris’ 11 children. PA REAL LIFE

She continued: “We get some rude comments, as there are always going to be people that don’t like big families. But now we’re used to it, it doesn’t bother us.

“There are always going to be people who have a different opinion to you.”

She is also making the most of every last moment of this pregnancy – as the couple expect this to be the final addition to their family.

Two of Courtney’s sons with the baby chicks on the couple’s land. PA REAL LIFE
Two of Courtney’s sons with the baby chicks on the couple’s land. PA REAL LIFE

Courtney said: “Due to my age and health, most likely this will be my last one.

“We wanted to get to 12 and I really don’t want to go on having any more C-sections.

“It’s going to be as I turn 38, so physically, I don’t know if I’ll be able to have any more.”

She continued: “I’m sad, but I’m glad also that we have time to mentally prepare – rather than all of a sudden a doctor saying, ‘You can’t have any more’.

“I’m still going to be sad, because I like babies. Once they all start getting older, it will be tough for us.

“But for now, we’re focused on welcoming baby number 12 and becoming the real life Cheaper by the Dozen family.”

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