Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have 9 kids running around the house? What about having 9 kids running around the house by the time you’re 28 years old? That might sound like something out of a sci-fi book or movie, but it’s the reality that one Nevada mother, Kora Duke, has been faced with.
She met her husband, Andre, when she was just a sophomore in high school. He was a senior at the time, but the two hit it off immediately and it didn’t take long before they were married – tying the knot when Kora was just 17 years old. Little did the couple know they would be parents to 9 kids soon.
One by one, Kora and her husband welcomed nine children over a 12-year period between 2000 and 2012. During that time, pregnancy was just about the only thing Kora knew. “I only knew myself as being pregnant. I didn’t even remember the parts when I wasn’t,” explained Kora in an interview with TODAY.
Kora Duke has been married to her husband, Andre, for 22 years now – she has been pregnant for more than half of those years. And now that the Nevada mother is finally getting an opportunity to share her story with a large audience, we’re learning that a majority of the pregnancies ‘were not intentional at all.’
Her typical day is much more hectic than you can imagine. Between 5:30 and 8:00 a.m., the mother is running around making sure her children get to school or work on time. To complicate the matter, she has a daughter that works, a couple of high schoolers, a couple of middle schoolers, and one in elementary school.
And while Kora Duke will always say she’s a mother of nine, the couple had to experience something no parent should ever have to experience – the loss of a child. In 2004, at the age of 20, Kora and Andre welcomed their third child to the mix. Unfortunately, their baby passed away from SIDS at just seven days old.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also known as SIDS, is when a seemingly healthy baby suddenly passes away before turning one year old. It left Kora and Duke without a child, but they would go on to welcome seven more as they achieved ‘full house’ status – a house that’s full of chaos, but also love and support.
After 9 Kids, She Decided to Have Her Tubes Tied
Being pregnant with a child requires a mother to put most of her life on hold – everything becomes about the baby at that point. For Kora Duke, she maintained that attitude for 12 straight years and I don’t know about you, but I’d say that puts her in the same breath as a superhero. It’s not easy, but she did it.
After putting her own life on hold for 12 years, Kora and Andre decided it was time to have her tubes tied – meaning they were done having children. It was a big decision for someone who spent nearly half of her life pregnant, but she knew she had to take care of her health, citing the toll pregnancy has on your body.
“I never really took time for myself. I learned that I am my own person and my whole being doesn’t revolve around just being a mother. That’s something I really did learn after I stopped having children,” she explained in her interview with TODAY, adding that the couple is now focusing more on themselves.
With her oldest son going off to college, it’ll be the first time she doesn’t have all nine (one in spirit) under her roof. “It hasn’t hit me, but as soon as we have to pack up the car I’m sure I’m going to have a full breakdown,” said Kora. Nonetheless, the couple plans on traveling often once their children are grown up.
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