I'm a mom-of-12 & was pregnant for 16 years straight – it was a mental struggle, I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom | The Sun

WITH a household of 12 kids, one mom said she's "still adjusting" to not being pregnant after having children for 16 years straight.

Though she didn't dream of being a stay-at-home mom, she now says that children are a blessing – and she'd have more if she could.

Speaking to Fox News, Iris Purnell, 38, shared the struggles of being pregnant for such a long time.

Iris and her husband Cordell "Storm" Purnell are known on social media as The Storm Family. On TikTok and Instagram, Iris showcases her choreography expertise and her children flaunt their dance skills.

When Iris and Cordell first met, they each had one child already; by the end of their first year of marriage, they had their first son together.

Now, they have seven sons and five daughters: Malikhai, 17, Cordell Jr., 17, Janai, 15, Trinity, 13, Messiah, 12, Josiah, 11, Love, 9, Seven, 8, Michael, 6, Royal, 5, Heavenly, 4, and Hope, 3.


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Even though Iris spent the years 2004 through 2019 pregnant, it took time to get used to it and she often found the experience challenging.

"I was trying to find life at that time because I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom," Iris said.

She found it especially hard to take a break from her career as a choreographer. "That wasn't what I wanted to do," she said.

Her husband, Cordell, kept performing under his stage name, and Iris recalibrated her life to account for motherhood.

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"It was a struggle for me mentally because I didn't know how to articulate that I wasn’t happy," she revealed.

Iris found comfort in the church, turning to the word of God to assuage her doubts.

"I was like, 'You know what? If God wants me to have this many children, then I'll have as many children as He deems for me to have,'" she told Fox.

Now, Iris loves being a mother, she said – and miraculously, she only experienced morning sickness and discomfort during one of her pregnancies.

"I love getting them ready for school, taking their clothes out, doing their hair, and making them feel and look beautiful," she told the outlet.

And with so many children around, Iris is able to put her choreography expertise to work with viral TikTok dances.

The couple won't be having more children in the future, though Iris said she'd happily raise more if it were safe for her health.

After having seven of her children via natural childbirth and four via C-section, Iris underwent tubal litigation in 2019.

"I was actually against it at first," Iris admitted. But after having so many surgeries, including multiple emergency C-sections, she was at risk for dangerous health complications.

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Still, Iris said, she cherishes her large family even if it wasn't her original plan.

"I feel like children are a blessing. And if it's a blessing, then who am I to stop it?" she said.

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