A SUPERMUM delivered her 12th baby in just 20 minutes and quickly started talking about adding another to her monster brood.
Zoe Sullivan, 43, has spent most of the last 16 years having babies, and her oldest, Elisabeth, is not far off turning 17. Their now-second-youngest, Charlie, is aged three.
On Florence’s due date last Thursday the devoted mother went to Tesco first thing in the morning to make sure she had supplies for the others.
Zoe spent months worrying about her latest bump and how things would go. But when push came to shove, little Florence was no problem and even fitted in with the meal and bath times for the other kids.
But her contractions started during a trip to the shops, and she was forced to go for a lie down. She decided to hold off going to the hospital until everyone had their tea, but then her water ʙʀᴏᴋᴇ in the car on the way there during rush hour. She was forced to walk into Dr. Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, Moray, wrapped in blankets she kept in the car.
She’d barely caught her breath when the baby arrived, weighing 8 lbs 10 oz. Zoe said, “I probably should have gone up to the ward earlier. I should be able to guess these things, but I never do.”
Dad, Ben, 47, had to be there to cut the ᴄᴏʀᴅ, which hasn’t happened for a long time because he’s usually tied up with the rest of the youngsters. And it all went so smoothly that the couple, from Lossiemouth, Moray, fancy some more. Zoe said, “She’s so sweet. How could you not want another one of her? Maybe we will have another one. I am never going to say never because this couldn’t have gone any better. We’ve been so lucky.”
It was RAF worker Ben’s first time at a birth since their 13-year-old twins, Charlotte and Isabelle. Moments after she was born, he told his exhausted wife: “That was rapid from start to finish. She is absolutely perfect. I can’t believe you pushed another baby out. It’s magic. Let’s do it all over again.”
Ben went home that night while his wife got to spend a peaceful night in the hospital, where she reckoned she got a better night’s sleep than she would have done at home. And the day after she was born, she arrived home to a hero’s welcome from her delighted big brothers and sisters, who helped choose her name.
Zoe explained how the family is sometimes targeted by cruel trolls, but she admitted that holding little Florence puts it all in perspective. She said, “I know it’s not for everybody. We do face a lot of ᴄʀɪᴛɪᴄɪsᴍ. Sometimes you can take it with a pinch of salt and sometimes it hurts quite a lot.
“But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. They are amazing and they are ours. I am so proud of my family. We’ve created this. It’s who we are and what we do. It’s what makes all of us happy.”