A miracle-making mum who was once told by doctors that she could never had children has proved them wrong – by giving birth to TEN kids.
Emma Gale was diagnosed with polycistic ovaries aged 18, with doctors delivering the “mortifying” news to her and husband Spencer that they were unlikely ever to have kids.
But just two years later Emma, who had started to look into fostering or adopting with her hubby, when she fell so ill that she “couldn’t even stand up”.
After rushing to hospital, it was revealed that Emma was two months pregnant – to the astonishment of both her and her husband.
The proud mum, now 42, went on to have a whopping TEN successful pregnancies, giving her one of the biggest broods in Britain.
Now the walls of the couple’s five-bedroom house in Whitstable, Kent, are adorned with over 100 family photos showing their army of kids – the eldest of whom is 20, with the youngest aged just one.
Emma works at the local Tesco to support the family, often getting home from her shift at 1.30 in the morning – giving her only a few hours of respite before an especially hectic school run begins.
All the children apart from 20-year-old Oliver – who works in Michelin-starred restaurants in France and Ibiza – still live with their parents.
One-year-old Isaac, Eli, two, Noah, four, Sidney, five, Teddy, eight, Freddie 13, Daisy, 14, Charlie, 17, and Emily, 19, are all crammed int the family home.
But while life for the Gales can be hectic, they say they “wouldn’t change it for the world”.
Emma said: “We always mix up names. Especially when they are being hooligans.”
Although the couple insist they have no favourites, Spencer has a “special bond” with Sidney and Isaac, as he delivered them himself at home, with the help of a midwife over the phone.
The couple say they work hard as a team to provide for the children – with Spencer working seven days a week at the Harbour Garage and Emma up to four night shifts during the week.
Emma added: “Because we have ten children, people automatically assume we get benefits – but we don’t.”
Spencer, 47, said: “What is nice is our own work ethics have reflected on our children. Oliver works an awful lot of hours; he works all the overtime he can possibly get.
“Emily is full-time at Canterbury Christ Church in Medway and works a lot of hours. I think it is nice for us as parents and is really reflective of us.”
After Isaac’s birth – and a warning from doctors – Emma and Spencer have decided not to have more children.
She said: “I was told I could haemorrhage or get blood clots. But I have always been lucky and I have never had any complications.”
The couple admit money is very tight, so they work extra hard to make sure their children do not go without – and saved £100 a week to cover the expensive festive season.
Emma said: “Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t spoiled children and don’t have anything during the year, except for birthdays and Christmas.
“We make sure they do their club. They don’t get pocket money, but if they want to go out with friends we try to give them some – everything has to be scheduled so we know what we are budgeting for.”
Emma does just one big grocery shop a month and doesn’t “beat around the bush” when it comes to cooking.
She added: “They don’t have a choice – they all have the same, and it is easier for me.”
Despite admitting there is some tension in the house, everyone sticks together and supports each other.
The mum said: “There is always going to be some sibling rivalry – but they are all pretty good and pull together when they need to.
“Five years ago, my dad had a massive brain aneurysm and it was quite tricky. I had to be at the hospital for six months everyday and they all just pulled together.”
The family do not go out on many trips together but, when they do, Emma likes everyone to look the part.
She said: “Two years ago, Spencer’s dad got remarried so all the children dressed the same.
“I think it is really special when you have a big family to dress all of them the same.”
The family’s French bulldog, Buster, and cat, Jess, add to the mayhem, but pair are adamant that they prefer the mayhem to a quiet house.
In the future they hope to build a log cabin and a conservatory in the garden to give the kids more space as they get older.
But, for now, Isaac sleeps in his parents’ room, five of the younger boys share, while Emily, Charlie and Daisy each have their own bedroom.
Emma said: “We don’t ever regret having ten children, but we just hate people who judge us.”
Husband Spencer added: “I wouldn’t change it for the world. At the end of the day, it was our choice to have this many children and we are very lucky to have them.”