California Mom of 12 Was Pregnant for 16 Years in a Row: ‘I Feel like Children Are a Blessing’

California Mom of 12 Was Pregnant for 16 Years in a Row: ‘I Feel like Children Are a Blessing’

When a couple’s videos with their 12 children of all sizes surfaced on TikTok, it was hard for netizens to believe that the mother had been pregnant successively for 16 years and had enjoyed most of her pregnancies.

When Iris Purnell said she loved being a mother, she meant it. The Los Angeles mom of 12 regularly posted videos on TikTok, unaware that they would soon go viral. Her shocking story made rounds on social media.

Iris worked as a choreographer and loved dancing to her favorite beats. She met her now-husband, Cordell Purnell, at a party in New York City, where they discussed their mutual passion for dance and soon fell in love.

The Couple

Iris and Cordell dated each other after they bonded over their similar interests. When they met, Iris had a son, and Cordell was also the father of a child.

Cordell worked as a professional dancer, and most people knew him as “Storm.” Many dance lovers adored him, but Iris admired him the most. Soon, the couple decided to live together and then get married. Cordell said:

“We got married and had our first son together shortly after. So, we had three children at the start of our marriage.”

Stay-At-Home Mother

After having a baby, Iris took a break from her choreography job and focused on raising her little one. She confessed it wasn’t easy for her to stay at home because she enjoyed being at work and interacting with different people.

Iris and Cordell had no plans of having a big family, but this recent realization changed everything for them.

It was a struggle for me mentally

 because I didn’t know how to articulate that I wasn’t happy,” Iris


. The mom of three didn’t like being a stay-at-home mother.

Newfound Feelings

Iris had no idea how to deal with her newfound feelings. Although she wanted to step out of the house and continue being a working mom, she couldn’t leave her kids alone. Ultimately, Iris decided to go to church to channel her feelings.

The couple had their daughter in 2006, and Iris “found a new life” around the same time. At that point, she realized she wanted to have more children. She said:

“If God wants me to have this many children, then I’ll have as many children as He deems for me to have.”

A Big Family

Iris and Cordell had no plans of having a big family, but this recent realization changed everything for them. It took the couple sixteen years to have 12 children altogether.

Their eldest children, Malikhai and Cordell Jr., are 17 years old. Then they have two teenagers, Janai, 15, and Trinity, 13. The remaining children are Messiah, 12; Josiah, 11; Love, 9; Seven, 8; Michael, 6; Royal, 5; Heavenly, 4; and Hope, 3.

The couple has seven sons and five daughters, and Iris gave birth to seven of them naturally, while the rest were born via C-section. Despite going through the draining process of giving birth multiple times, Iris never wanted to stop having babies.

Twelve Children

Her children were the light of her life, and she loved all of them dearly. The caring mother revealed that she never had any problems during her pregnancies except the one with Trinity, where she experienced morning sickness.

Iris firmly believes God always helped her solve her problems. She prayed to Him whenever she was in trouble and recited the Bible with her children because she thought it helped her in many ways.

Reading verses from the Bible also helped heal her postpartum depression that began after she had to go in for an emergency C-section in 2016.

No More Babies

After having her 12th baby in 2019, Iris’s husband suggested she undergo a medical procedure so they don’t have more babies because it made Iris’ body grow weaker.

At first, Iris was against her husband’s suggestion. She didn’t want to stop having babies. But when she thought about it, she realized Cordell’s concerns were logical, though she admitted:

“I sincerely enjoy raising my children.”


The Loving Mother

Iris wakes up early every day to get her kids ready for school. Then she looks after her other babies, feeds them, dresses them up, and never gets tired of adoring them. She also loves helping her children with their homework. Cordell said:

“She always wanted to be a teacher, so this is a great purpose.”

Cordell thinks God gave Iris so many children so she could fulfill all her wishes. She loves taking on different roles to look after her babies, and each day is a new adventure for the loving mother.

We don’t hear such beautiful stories every day. Share Iris’s story with your friends and family to tell them how her life changed completely after having children.


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