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Dutch couple gets 19th child - at home

By Adriana Stuijt     Dec 27, 2008 in Health
Diana and Henk Koelewijn, both 45, this week celebrated the birth of their 19th child, Eva. The couple live in the religious conservative enclave of Bunschoten - an old fishing harbour along the edges of the old Zuyderzee, now turned into dry land.
Midwife Tineke Reichardt, who delivered the baby at the couple's home -- at least 33% of all births in the Netherlands take place at home -- said she didn't exclude the possibility that the couple have set some kind of record in The Netherlands, where 2 children is the norm.
The annual number of births is around 74,500 in The Netherlands. Of these, 46% of the children are delivered by independent, registered midwives with their own practices; 8% by GPs and 46% by obstetricians.
Read entire report by this Dutch midwife here
The couple now have seven sons and twelve daughters - including a set of twin girls. All were born at home.
Diana Koelewijn is recovering well, says Reichardt: "she has a steely constitution, not many women could copy her in such as feat,' she said.
The first problem the couple had was when they tried to have the latest birth entered onto their marriage certificate: another Dutch tradition.The 'marriage book' only contains six lines, and some heavy improvisation was needed to fit all the children 's names inside the book, said the municipal official.
The municipality had wanted to give the Koelewijns an extra marriage-book years ago, but Henk wouldn't hear of it."I am married to one woman,' was his faultless argument. Thus extra pages have been pasted into the marriage book over the years - but they also filled up quickly.
The mucipality now is going to try and organise a brand-new marriage-book with enough pages to list all the children.
More about Dutch midwives, Couple has 19th, Bunschoten
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