Immigrant Mother Has 12 Kids in 24 Years!!
Okay, I confess. The immigrant in question was my great grandmother, Katerina Blasy Wehner, from Austria/Hungary. I just finished my novel, Dakota Blues, for which I traveled back to North Dakota to do research, accompanied by my mom. We flew from our home in California to Denver, where we rented a car, bought a cooler at WalMart, packed it with Subway sandwiches and drove the 300 miles, over two days, to Mom's hometown Dickinson, ND. It was lush, green springtime after a wetter-than-usual winter, and Mom and I were simply open-mouthed at the unending beauty of northern Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and ND. Imagine picnicking in a place where all you hear alongside the highway is the sound of wind and birdsong. I had the perfect traveling partner in Mom, who alone in my world would cry out in delight at the sight of a broken-down barn or a band of Pronghorn antelope grazing on prairie grasslands. Neither of us will ever forget this trip. So much of what I experienced along that drive is included in my story. Part of the joy of researching the book was to get acquainted with my extended family, both current and deceased. I feel closer to them all.

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  • And add to that (12 in 24) the fact that most of them had only midwives - if that - for help in the delivery. I did the math: 12 kids x 9 months gestation for each = 108 months pregnant. Taken as a whole, this poor woman was pregnant for 9 years. Hormone hell!!

  • M. Sparks

    Unbelievable ( 12 Kids in 24 Years ) and what an experience that must have been, all the research and writing involved in getting them closer together. Terrific endeavor my dear !