Michigan Family Welcomes Its 14th Son
Whoa, baby! That might just be what Jay and Kateri Schwandt of Grand Rapids, Michigan were thinking when they welcomed their 14th baby into the world back in April.
According to The Grand Rapids Press, the couple, who lives in Kent County in the Grand Rapids area, is a pretty well-known sight around town, not only for their unusually large family, but because they happen to have all sons. When Kateri announced her 14th pregnancy, the locals were waiting with bated breath. Would Kateri have her first daughter? Would a little girl be introduced into the world with 13 big brothers to dote on her? What would happen to all those hand-me-downs?
Well, on Wednesday, April 18, the wait was over, when the couple announced that their 14th son had been born. The little guy was born around 6 PM on April 18, five days early before his anticipated due date (no small gift of mercy, as any mom knows, let alone one who has given birth 14 times!). He weighed in at an impressive 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 21 inches long.
Kateri told local news media that just like it did for their last few sons, the family elected not to find out whether their 14th child would be a boy or a girl. However, one can't help but wonder what the actual odds are for a family having 14 boys in a row. Turns out, the odds are pretty stacked against them. In the past, with their 13th child, a genetic counselor had calculated the chance of giving birth to that many sons in a row was less than .02 percent. Looks like this family just won the lottery!
For this family, their large and unusual family size is no big deal. Kateri herself comes from a family of 14 children so to her, her family size that is making headlines is nothing news-worthy; it's just normal! “Each little one that has entered our family has brought something special to the entire makeup of the family and without any one of them it wouldn’t feel right,” she told the Salt Lake Tribune.
Kateri's children, with the new addition, now range from newborn to 25. The baby's closest sibling is two years old.
As one can imagine, the comments on the Schwandt's story ranged from sincere congratulations to downright hurtful. Some commenters expressed joy for the family in welcoming yet another member while others wondered on how earth anyone could afford 14 children and still others simply remarked, “Stop. Just stop.”
Although the family took some time before naming their son, the name they came up is just as striking as the birth that inspired it. In April, the family announced their 14th son's name as Finley Sheboygan Schwandt. The name isn't purported to be linked to the town Sheboygan but instead refers to a historic tale that Jay's father-in-law told him about a Native American chief who also happened to be the father of many boys. According to the legend, the chief believed his last child would be a girl but instead, it was born to a boy. So when his last son was born, the chief named him Sheboygan, which translates to, “she is a boy again.” How's that for a literal name, right?
So how is the family feeling about their latest addition? The local news outlets reported that dad Jay had no feelings regarding having a boy or a girl and that he was just extremely grateful for another healthy delivery for his wife and family. Spoken like a true dad.
Oh, and because we know you are all wondering, both parents have confirmed that their 14th son is, indeed, their last baby. “This realistically is the end of the road as far as making babies,” he told the Tribune, which also noted that Jay has made the same remark before, so maybe we should stay tuned …