A woman who once believed that her dream of motherhood was lost forever is now a proud mom to 10 children under the age of 14. Feeling "blessed," she says her love-filled, plus-size family was well worth the wait.
Born and raised in Sweden, 38-year-old Satu Nordling Gonzalez is a stay-at-home mom to the six girls and four boys she shares with her husband, Andres, who works in construction.
Andres moved from Uruguay to Sweden as a child, where the couple later met and married in 2008. Together, they then welcomed 10 kids: Nicole, 14; Vanessa, 13; twins Danilo and Jonathan, 12; Olivia, 9; Kevin, 8; Celina, 7; Isabelle, 4; Melanie, 2; and Benjamin, 1.
Satu's journey into motherhood was hard, and she once believed it to be impossible.
"Unfortunately, when we decided to grow a family, we had a hard time getting pregnant," Satu told The Epoch Times. "I got pregnant but miscarried ... they had to operate. After that, I had complications, and it seemed like I wasn't going to get pregnant at all."
After this, Satu went to many appointments and treatments, but it all seemed to be "hopeless."
Surrounded by family and friends for whom it seemed like falling pregnant was easy, Satu felt "stuck" in her own private nightmare. She had always believed her purpose was to become a mother.
"That has been my highest and deepest meaning, and dream in life, to be mom to many kids," she said.
After 2 1/2 years of trying, Satu finally became pregnant again. Happy yet terrified, she suffered from severe nausea and vomiting known as hyperemesis through her entire pregnancy, but never complained.
"I knew what I would get in the end," she explained. "Then she came, my firstborn, and made my dreams come true and all the wait worthwhile."
Satu spent the next 14 years of her life pregnant or nursing, claiming she recovered quickly from each pregnancy and now stays active with her kids. But as the love in the family home multiplied with welcoming every new baby, so did the many tasks of parenting.
Although Satu loves staying home with her children and manages the bulk of the chores, she has found ways for the kids to help around the house.
"I'm pedantic; I need to have [everything] organized around me, and the kids have chores by age so we all help out," she told The Epoch Times. "Someone takes out the trash, somebody empties the dishwasher after dinner, another vacuums, and so on."
Help and respect for others are at the core of Satu's parenting philosophy. The loving mom believes in regular family meetings to share thoughts and talk about emotions and says "nothing is impossible" to her tight-knit brood.
"I follow my heart, trying to raise them to be loving, kindhearted, nice people that care for one another and people around them," she said, claiming that the best part of parenting so many children is "everything."
Being a mother to 10 kids, Satu said: "I feel so blessed to have these amazing kids in my life, to see them develop and learn new skills, sitting in the front row to follow their lives, and everything they do and have in front of them ... to have their unconditional love is worth everything.
"Motherhood is the biggest, sometimes hardest, and most important thing that has ever happened to me."
"When you go past the magic number of four kids to five kids, people start raising their eyebrows," she said, praising her children for defending their atypical family size. "I believe our kids were truly the ones who were heartily glad and welcoming ... I believe our bond is strong in our family, it has been since day one."
Yet, the Gonzalez clan is by no means complete; Satu revealed that she is pregnant again, and will be welcoming baby number 11 in November.