ROCKFORD, Mich. — Kateri and Jay Schwandt have 12 sons, with one more on the way to make a baker’s dozen come May.
On Monday, the couple announced they’re expecting child No. 13.
Their 12 kids range in age from 15 months to 22 years. While you might expect them to be wishing for a girl, don’t be so quick to assume.
While eating at the dinner table, several children told us about their first choice. The votes came in at about a 50-50 split for a boy or a girl.
As for mom and dad, don’t expect them to be tiebreakers.
“Why change things up now?” Kateri Schwant said. “At this point, at this stage in the game, a little girl, we’d have to relearn everything.”
Between sporting events, church, and school, the Schwandts said their biggest challenge in raising a large family is time management.
“If Jay makes it to Tom’s games one weekend, then he’ll make a point next weekend to go to Brandon’s games, so it all evens out,” Kateri said.
Home life with the Schwandts is the kind of chaos people from the outside might not understand, but it’s considered a blessing for the Schwandts’ ever-growing family.
Kateri said she grew up in a family of 14, but Jay said he’s just one of two children. He said he always wanted a large family, but to him that meant having three kids, not 12.
“All 12 are here on Sunday night having dinner, and it’s just neat,” Jay said. “Christmas morning, Easter, Thanksgiving — just the holidays are just cool, and that’s where it’s so different for me.”
As for the chances the 12 boys will get a younger sister? Based on past experience, it doesn’t seem too promising.
“I just don’t think it’s in the cards,” Jay said.
Whether the newest addition brings in the blue, or the never-before-seen pink, his or her’s older brothers are already thinking of names. One of them said that if it’s a boy, they want to name him Gordy.
“That’s the problem we had last time,” Jay said, laughing. “One of them wanted Elmo. That’s the fun part.”
Baby Schwandt is expected May 9.
The family said it won’t be finding out the gender of the baby until he or she is born.