Me and Mum have 22 babies between us

me and mum have 22 babies

by take-a-break |
Updated on

Tracy and her mum are like two peas in a pod – but it’s not peas they’re popping out… it’s babies!

mum and daughter 22 babies

It was just before bedtime and I heard the sound of happy gurgles coming from the bathroom.

Anticipating what my mum, Tracy, would need when she’d finished soaping my baby sister, I picked up a clean Babygro.

‘Here you go,’ I said, passing it to her and blowing a raspberry at the baby.

I loved helping out my mum with my sisters and brother.

I looked over at Mum, taking in her contented face as she gazed down at my baby sister.

The pair of us were never happier than when we were cuddling a baby.

Me and Mum were like two peas in a pod.

I was the second eldest and was also called Tracy.

My dad, Peter, told me that when Mum was in labour with me, she’d gone to hospital in an ambulance, and he’d yelled after her.

'We're moving - we need a bigger house'

‘If it’s a girl, we’ll call her after you,’ he’d said.

As well as her name, it looked like I’d inherited the same maternal instinct.

By the time I was 10, I had seven sisters – Carly, Samantha, Lyndsay, Danielle, Chantelle, Charlotte, and Georgia – and one brother – Charles.

On school mornings, all of us kids would line up, hair neatly brushed, our uniforms pristine and ironed.

Then we’d file in an orderly way into our people carriers – Dad drove one, Mum drove the other.

Organisation was the key to our ever-growing family’s routine.

Me and Mum

I’d cradle a baby in my arms while Mum cracked on with the washing, enjoying the warm feeling of the little limbs curled up beside me.

And when I wasn’t holding one of my siblings, I’d carry around my own baby doll!

What would it be like to have my own baby? I’d often wonder.

Mum went on to have Candice, Shannon, Shaznay and Porsha.

A total of 13 children!

Mum and Dad were a tag team – when he came home from work repairing coaches, she would go off to work a shift in the supermarket.

mum and daughter with 22 kids

Yet they managed to get together often enough to make more babies!

And I knew I wanted to have a big brood too.

When I was 17, I met Alan in a nightclub. He was 21.

‘Just like your dad and me,’ said Mum.

She had met Dad in a nightclub in the same town, Bournemouth, when she was 17 and he was 21.

I was treading in her footsteps.

'I love babies, I'd like a lot'

We had the same name and were the same age when we’d met the love of our lives.

After a few weeks, I wanted Alan to meet my parents.

‘There’s a lot of us,’ I warned him.

Anxiously, I checked my watch the day he was due to visit.

The poor bloke wasn’t just meeting my parents for the first time.

Scanning the room, I did a quick count-up.

There were 14 of us!

A reception committee of more than a dozen people scrutinising his every move and word.

Mum and daughter with 22 kids

Suddenly I spotted Alan coming up the garden path.

I hoped he wouldn’t be too daunted at the sight of all of us.

But Alan didn’t bat an eyelid and grinned as he shook hands with everybody.

In time, me and Alan began talking about having a family of our own.

‘I love babies,’ I said. ‘I’d like a lot.’

His face betrayed his concern.

‘Two or three maybe,’ he said, guardedly.

Alan only had one sibling – a sister.

One year after Mum had had her final baby, I waddled into hospital. I was 18.

‘Hello, Tracy,’ said the midwives when I turned up at Poole Hospital.

But they didn’t mean me!

‘It’s my second home,’ laughed Mum.

mum and daughter with 22 kids

She’d been here so many times to give birth, she was a regular on the maternity ward.

‘You’re doing really well,’ came Mum’s reassuring voice, as the contractions multiplied.

Me, Mum and a baby, once more.

But this time the baby was mine!

When I cuddled Shaznay for the first time, I was overwhelmed by love for her, just as I knew I would be when I’d cuddled Mum’s babies.

Three years later, Chantal arrived, and then we had Candice two years on.

Alan had fallen in love with babyhood, just like me.

‘I’d like more too,’ he said.

Our first boy, Warren, was our fourth child, followed by Reece and Callum.

‘You’re my role model,’ I said to Mum earnestly.

And I knew who to go to straightaway for advice.

One of my boys had problems getting his wind out after feeding.

‘Just give him half a bottle, then pick him up and the wind will come up, no problem,’ she said, authoritatively.

Carefully, I watched to see when he’d taken half of the milk, picked him up… and hey, presto, out came a lovely burp!

After Callum, came Ellie, then Riley, and my latest, Kye, 18 months.

I’ve got nine children, while Mum had 13 – that’s 22 between us.

And I haven’t finished – I want more!

Inevitably, people ask if we’re on benefits.

‘No,’ I answer firmly.

Me and Alan work hard and pay for everything ourselves.

He has his own plastering business and I work in the evenings.

Our kids see us working hard, and they know if they want treats, they have to work for them too.

Mum and Dad brought us up the same way – we had paper rounds and part-time jobs from a young age.

Mum is my best friend. She was with me for the birth of six of my children.

We live round the corner, go shopping together and pile our trolleys high with shampoo and conditioner because we’ve got so many girls between us!

My mum couldn’t have given me a better name – I’m definitely her double!

Tracy Lewis, 38, Christchurch, Dorset

Tracy Lewis (senior), 59, says: ‘Tracy is such a natural with babies – just like me.  We both love that gorgeous feeling of holding a baby in our arms. I used to sit all my kids on a corner suite settee – they gave me the happiest days of my life. People kept asking why I kept getting pregnant, but it made us happy. I couldn’t get enough of having babies. Tracy works so hard, just like I did. We paid for all of our children, and so does she. I have 25 grandchildren now, but I know there’ll be more to come. Tracy wants 13, like me. Love is the most important thing – and we’re surrounded by it.’

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