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New arrival helps Bates family rival 19 Kids and Counting stars

The Bates family now rival TV stars, the Duggars, as they celebrate the birth of baby number 19

Posted: 9 February 2012
by Anna Lewis
Will Jeb be the Bates' last baby?
Will Jeb be the Bates' last baby?

Gil and Kelly Bates have proudly introduced their 19th child, Jeb Colton Bates.

Jeb, who was born two weeks early, is the latest addition to the already impressive Bates family. Weighing 7lb 8oz at birth, he brings the family’s child-count up to a staggering 19, putting them in equal position with their good friends, reality TV show stars the Duggars.

“We are very grateful for prayers from friends and family over the past few weeks in anticipation of his arrival,” Kelly wrote on the family’s blog.

Kelly, 45, has spent more of her adult life pregnant than not and has had no twins, no C-sections and 14 drug-free births. But the arrival of Jeb was not as straightforward as Kelly’s previous pregnancies. After suffering three miscarriages, she was given hormone therapy to help her carry Jeb.

Despite making the decision to avoid contraception, as per their religion, the couple never planned on having so many kids.

“We both came to the conclusion that we just want to trust God with how many children we have,” explains Gil, 45. “We never really thought we’d have 18. We thought we’d have maybe one or two – maybe three.”

The Bates clan gets around in two vans – one 15-passenger and one seven-seater. Even more incredible is the cost of the family food shop. Every other day it totals a bank-breaking $250!

Perhaps it’s time they got their own reality TV show…

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19 Kids and Counting, Bates family, Duggar family, baby, pregnancy, reality TV show, hormone therapy, contraception

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