‘Cheaper by the Dozen film inspired me to have 12 kids – we had to extend house’

A couple with 11 kids will soon grow their brood to 12 with the arrival of their newest child – due almost 12 years to the day they celebrated the birth of their eldest.

Courtney and Chris Rogers, whose kids’ names all begin with the letter ‘c’, say their children begged mum and dad for “just one more” sibling so they could be like the Baker family in the Cheaper by the Dozen films.

The films follow Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt as Tom and Kate Baker, running around after their 12 kids who cause chaos at every turn.

Stay-at-home mum Courtney, 37, says she and her church pastor husband Chris can’t wait to welcome their newest arrival in March.

The mum, from New Mexico in the US, said: “We’re so excited as we had wanted 12.

“I’m very thankful that it’s happening, and the kids are still going to be close in age.”

She added the new baby will arrive around the time the eldest child, Clint, turns 12.

“One reason my kids wanted us to have 12 is because of the movie, Cheaper by the Dozen. They’ve been wanting me to have another one and kept asking for, ‘Just one more, Mum, just one more’.”

The couple are unsure if the youngest will be a boy or a girl – but one thing they know for sure is that the baby’s name will begin with a ‘c’, just like the other kids: Clint, 11, Clay, 10, Cade, eight, Callie, eight, Cash, six, six-year-old twins Colt and Case, Calena, four, Caydie, three, Coralee, two, and Caris, nine months.

But for now, Courtney is keeping tight-lipped about potential baby names.

As well as taking care of the kids and home schooling them all, Courtney documents their busy lives on the 12-acre plot on her Instagram page, @littlehouseinthehighdesert.

The family owns 140 animals including pigs, sheep, dogs and chickens.

Supermum Courtney also admits she didn’t start married life expecting to have so many kids.

She said: “When we got married, I was 24. Then we had an early pregnancy loss, so Clint wasn’t born until just before I turned 26.

“At that point, I didn’t think I was starting motherhood that early. I had no clue we’d have this many.

“I did want to have a big family, but it was quite a surprise to get here and, so far, have everything working out as planned.”

The couple are due to find out the sex of the baby in October – and Chris would like a girl to make their brood completely even with boys and girls.

While Courtney’s excited to meet her youngest child, she has some concerns about the delivery after having three C-sections – meaning she can no longer opt for a vaginal birth.

She said: “My youngest, Caris, had a scary beginning, so we’re a little bit nervous, but we also know we’re going to have a different delivery plan this time around.

“She was also nine days past her due date. We kept waiting and she just didn’t want to come.”

Courtney had to have an emergency C-section to deliver little Caris, when doctors realised she was in distress and wasn’t getting enough oxygen.

After she was born she spent 15 days in the newborn intensive care unit, and medics warned she could face delays in her development.

Luckily, the tot is now happy and healthy despite a touch start to life.

Having spent the majority of the last 12 years pregnant, Courtney admits she enjoys the experience.

“I’ve always felt fine during my pregnancies,” she said.

“I don’t get morning sickness, I don’t have a lot of pain and I can keep up.

“It’s different for everyone, but my body usually takes pregnancy very well. We probably wouldn’t have had so many if not!”

The supermum doesn’t even ask the older kids to help out with their younger siblings.

She said: “Once you get to a certain number, the parenting doesn’t really change.

“With the last few, we brought them home from the hospital and it was like they’d always been there.”

However, the couple are hoping to get the older kids involved in distance learning or online school so Courtney can focus on home schooling the younger ones.

The family travels around in a 15-seater van, but Courtney admits it can get crowded on long trips.

“The last time we took a vacation, we rented a house, because we’re just getting too big for even two hotel rooms and run out of space,” she said.

They’re also having an extension on their house – which was originally a three-bedroom property – to cater for their 12 strong brood.

“My husband’s been working on it and it should be done by Christmas,” Courtney said. “We’ll have seven bedrooms, four bathrooms – so two kids to a room.”

For the most part, Courtney’s Instagram attracts positivity – but, as with everything, some people have nasty things to say.

“We get some rude comments, as there are always going to be people that don’t like big families. But now we’re used to it, it doesn’t bother us,” she said.

“There are always going to be people who have a different opinion to you.”

The couple are making the most of this pregnancy, as Courtney thinks it’ll be her last.

“We wanted to get to 12 and I really don’t want to go on having any more C-sections,” she said.

“It’s going to be as I turn 38, so physically, I don’t know if I’ll be able to have any more.”

Although they’re ready to stop having kids, Courtney knows she’ll feel sad when she’s done with being pregnant.

“But for now, we’re focused on welcoming baby number 12 and becoming the real life Cheaper by the Dozen family.”