A HEARTBROKEN mum-of-23 has revealed she lost seven babies – including five in her 40s.
Jeni Bonell, who is in her 50s and has nine sons and six daughters, told Fabulous how she miscarried all of them in her first trimester.
“I am a mum of 16 children earthside and seven in heaven,” she said. “The babies are never forgotten.
“We speak openly about them if the kids want to know anything or ask us questions.
“They all know about our seven angel babies.”
Jeni, from Australia, who recently suffered a setback when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer which she is “doing okay” with, explained: “I had one loss in my 20s, one in my 30s and five in my 40s.
“I feel fortunate that all our losses were within the first trimester.”
And she said she felt pain for all parents who had been in similar situations.
“My heart breaks for all parents, both mums and dads who have suffered a loss,” she said.
“It’s not only the physical side of it that you have to endure but also the emotional side It’s very difficult.
“My faith has helped me tremendously through those tough times. And our family and friends offered so much comfort and support.”
Jeni, who does not know why she had the miscarriages, said: “We never found out why we lost the babies but it’s such a common thing to happen – one in four pregnancies will not succeed."
In a recent YouTube video Jeni and her husband Ray revealed they are open to having more kids.
Jeni said: "We would love more kids. It hasn't quite happened yet, but we would love more.
“If it happens, it happens. If not, we're happy either way.
"I always figured that when we are finished having children, then God will stop sending the blessings.
I am a mum of 16 children earthside and seven in heaven.The babies are never forgotten.
"We will keep having babies until we can't have kids anymore."
Ray said it was “hard to keep track” of who was living at home.
"It's continuously changing," he laughed.
When asked if they can imagine life once all 16 of their kids move out, Jeni said it might be "quiet" and "sad", but they will have more time for each other.
"I guarantee the kids will never be gone, gone," Ray added.
"They boomerang back when they move out, so they'll never be truly gone."
Jeni said that they will always welcome their grandchildren to come and stay as often as possible.
"Hopefully, there will always be some little feet running through our household," she said.
With 16 kids, it's natural to wonder how close they might all be in age, and Jeni And Ray revealed it's roughly 18 months between them all – with the smallest being 13-14 months
"There are a few bigger age gaps, where we've lost babies in between," Jeni said.
"I enjoyed the closer age gaps more personally, because I felt I was in the groove of doing all those sleepless nights and feeding babies and changing nappies, which made it easier."
I had one loss in my 20s, one in my 30s and five in my 40s.
One of the most asked questions, the parents revealed, is how they find time to be alone as a couple.
Sue and Noel Radford manage to keep the romance alive after 28 years of marriage & 22 kids – with date nights & lavish gifts – and Jeni and Ray have their own tricks up their sleeve.
"We do it when we're out driving and running errands," Jeni said.
"You have to be very intentional about making time for each other. We take opportunities like this when we have to go out and grab some stuff for the family.
"We'll do the errand, and then we might run downstairs and grab a milkshake and come and spend five to 10 minutes catching up and having a chat before we head back to the kids."
Jeni and Ray are parents to Jesse, Brooke, Claire, Natalie, Karl, Samuel, Cameron, Sabrina, Tim, Brandon, Eve, Nate, Rachel, Eric, Damian and Katelyn.
Earlier this year, Jeni found out her cancer was back and she revealed she was terrified of leaving the kids alone.
We previously shared inside the Bonell's fridge including one shelf just for eggs.
And Jeni revealed her hack for feeding her kids "lunch" without plates.
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