Move over, Duggars, there’s a new “megafamily” in town.
Christi and Dave Cason of Lake Elsinore, California are currently expecting their 17th child. Their children range in age from 2 to 23.
“Each baby is different. There is always the excitement of who will they look like, what will their personality be like, will they have blonde or brown hair,” 41-year-old Christi Cason said. “I don’t think I’m addicted to pregnancy. We just never felt that our family was complete.”
Christi said she decided she wanted another baby five months after the couple’s youngest child, Nathaniel, was born. However, she and her 45-year-old husband were having trouble getting pregnant with their newest addition. Christi got pregnant within three months but suffered a miscarriage before her 12 week scan.
The Casons tried for another year with no luck, but, in September 2012, Christi’s general practitioner suggested she take Clomid, which stimulates the hormones necessary for ovulation to occur.
“We were desperate. We really wanted another baby and had never had any problems conceiving in the past,” she said. “The biggest age gap between any of our other children is only 22 months.”
Three months later, Christi was pregnant again but miscarried three days before Christmas at nine weeks.
Despite the two miscarriages, Christi and Dave Cason decided to try again. It took 20 months, but Christi got pregnant again in February — she’s currently at 16 weeks.
“I feel really positive for the future,” she said. “I think if we try for an 18th baby, I might not need any medication.” Altogether, the couple said they want 20 children.
The couple made the official announcement on their blog, The Cason Crew, in April. “Well folks, we have finally passed a hurdle that we have been working hard to jump and we have decided to make an official announcement: We are pregnant with our 17th, wonderful baby!!”
In addition to expecting their new baby, Christi and Dave are also celebrating become first-time grandparents. Their eldest daughter, Jessica, recently gave birth to baby Jaedyn.
Unlike the Duggars, who are devout fundamentalist Christians and have “decided to allow God to determine the number of children” they would have, the Casons aren’t growing their family for religious reasons. They just love having a big family. The Duggars currently have 19 children — Michelle Duggar suffered a miscarriage in December 2011. Their eldest son, 25-year-old Josh, is currently expecting his third child (and second son) with his wife, Anna. Similar to Michelle and Jim Bob, Josh and Anna plan to have as many children as God gives them.
“I hope people don’t judge us,” Christi said. “We know we can afford a 17th child, and all the children get loads of love and attention.
Dave added, “Christi is a wonder at making the budget stretch. I’m so excited we’re having a 17th. I’ve already told everyone at work – way before I usually do.” Christi, a stay-at-home mom, manages to stretch Dave’s $80,000 salary to cover a $1,300 a month mortgage, a $1,600 a month food bill, and $1,900 in bills and other expenses.
“Even though we can’t afford vacations, with a big family, there are always so many other things you can do to have fun,” Christi said.
In October 2012, four months before she got pregnant, the Casons were featured in a National Geographic documentary titled Megafamilies. In it, Christi explains how she prioritizes the family’s expenses.
“When our budget is really tight like it is, it comes down to the important things. You pay the bills, car payments, you make sure your husband has gas money to get to work, and you have food,” she said.
Do you think 17 kids is too many?