'I am so grateful': Mum of eight who has breastfed for 14 years was told she'd never have kids

Photo: Greta Dench / Instagram
Photo: Greta Dench / Instagram 

Greta Dench is a 38-year old mother of eight children from Melbourne who was told she would likely never have kids after being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome.

The sometime blogger and Instagram mum has also revealed that she has been breastfeeding or pregnant for the last 15 years.

Greta and husband Michael proved the experts wrong, having first child Jeremiah in 2004 after a year of trying to conceive, followed by second son Felix, 13, a few years later.

Then came Ezra, 11, Hugo, 9, Jasper, 7, Vera 4, Benji, 2, and five-month-old Elsie, who was born on February 26.

Greta says the last seven children took between three and six months to conceive.


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With eight kids in their brood, it makes sense that the couple would be regularly questioned about whether they plan to add anymore children.

Greta is upfront about the topic, telling The Sun, "We know we are done; little Elsie is our final puzzle piece and we are finally complete."

The pair never intended to have such a large family, admitting it's not for everybody and that it just evolved that way as the best path for them.


Greta explained, "Having a big family was never part of our discussions when we got married; but I knew I loved kids and babies from an early age, I even became a teacher because of my passion.

Four kids seemed like a big ask so I worked on my husband, who was happy to stop at three. Once our fourth boy came along, we felt like we might be getting the hang of it, so we contemplated and prayed.

We felt like there might be another one out there for us, so along came our fifth boy, and the same cycle continued, so then along came another three."

In an Instagram post, Greta acknowledges it's not all plain sailing, no matter how organised they are.

"We are still figuring out how to juggle this many unique creations. Some days we've got it, other days we seem to be dropping a ball or two.... or more. I can't wait to see them discover their own purpose and path in life, and yet sometimes the responsibility of shepherding them seems so weighty."


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Greta still finds time to exercise - her method of self-care with such a huge workload. 

She said, "I am up early at 4.30am to feed the baby and put her back to sleep. I then go for a run to be back for six to have a coffee and quiet moment with hubby; the kids are all up by seven in the morning."

The kids all have a set routine they must follow to contribute to the running of the busy household.

"They all have their job or routine. Jobs not done means no screen time later that day. They have to pack their own lunch boxes with pre-made sandwiches and snacks from snack tubs."

She continues, "All beds must be made, music practice done and pets fed before heading out the door. Having them work independently leaves me to focus on the youngest two or three kids. After school we have a similar routine; unpack bags, snack/homework, dinner time, jobs and at least one or two sport training's. It is busy but rewarding as we see our kids grow and develop."

Despite the exhaustion, expense and chaos, Greta says she wouldn't change a thing.

"We simply wouldn't change it for the world; the workload is only outweighed by the feeling of fulfilment and reward."

There's still an element of disbelief that the family was blessed with so many children, all welcomed after vaginal - though long - births.

"Having the privilege of growing life in my womb eight times; the miracle of it still blows me away. I am just so grateful my body could do it," Greta says.


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