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Couple with 18 kids prays for 'many more'

Gil and Kelly Bates, who belong to Tennessee and have been married for 23 years, have 18 children with the latest entrant just a month old, and would love to have "many more children if god allows it".

world Updated: Nov 09, 2010 18:35 IST

Kelly Bates has been married for 23 years and been pregnant for almost every year. The Bates couple has 18 children, with the latest entrant just a month old, and would love to have "many more children if god allows it".

Gil and Kelly Bates, who belong to Tennessee, US, are praying for more children, Daily Mail reported on Tuesday.

Gil said: "We will have many more children if God allows it."

"Children are a blessing and God has blessed us many, many times."

Kelly added: "We just love children and every baby brings extra joy to our family. The most exciting time is when a new baby comes."

"We all wonder are the boys going to be ahead, or are the girls going to be ahead?"

Married for 23 years, Kelly has been pregnant for almost every year.

Their children include Zach, 21, Michaela, 20, Erin, 18, Lawson, 17, Nathan, 16, Alyssa, 15, Tori, 14, Trace, 13, Carlin, 12, Josie, 11, Katie, 10, Jackson, 8, Warden, 7, Isaiah, 5, Addallee, 4, Ellie, 3, Callie-Anna, 1, and Judson Wyatt, one month.

Gil is extending their home that has five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, two kitchens, a huge dining room with a massive table and its own nursery and a schoolroom.

That's not all.

The house has four massive washing machines and two industrial dryers to cope with the seven loads of washing every day.

The Bates polish off 48 eggs, four packs of bacon, 40 scones and two large loaves of bread each breakfast-time.

"The dining table is so big I can't really hear the people at the far end," Gil was quoted as saying.

The going has not been easy for the couple.

Kelly suffered two miscarriages after their 16th child was born.

"That was one of the hardest times in our lives," said Gil.

When doctors said that the miscarriages were due to low progesterone levels, Kelly fell pregnant again - after some hormone replacement.