While most moms love their children, not all enjoy the roller-coaster experience of being pregnant.
However, for God-fearing Iris Purnell, 38, who experienced 16 years throughout the course of life pregnant with her 12 kids this is far from the truth.
“I feel like children are a blessing,” she said. “And if it’s a blessing, then who am I to stop it?”
The mother of 12 made sense of that she gave birth to her first child in 2004, and met her significant other, Cordell Purnell, who was likewise a dad of one, almost half of a year after the fact. The pair clicked over their appreciation for dance battles after crossing paths in New York.
“We got together, got to know each other,” said Cordell Purnell. “We got married and had our first son together shortly after. So, we had three children at the start of our marriage.”
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The couple, who are from East New York and Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, presently lives in Los Angeles. They said they hadn’t initially wanted to have a large family. Cordell continued working hard at becoming a professional dancer with his stage name being “Storm”, and Iris took a break from the workforce where she was previously a choreographer.
“I was trying to find life at that time because I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. That wasn’t what I wanted to do. So, it was a struggle for me mentally because I didn’t know how to articulate that I wasn’t happy,” she said
The longing that Iris Purnell felt drove her to find God when she bore another child in 2006, this time a girl.
Hit home for me..my dad one of 12!
“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6)
Mom of 12 kids, pregnant 16 years in a row, shares strong message of faith: 'Children are a blessing' https://t.co/PTNRhR9ko1 #FoxNews
— BlessedInAmerica (@america_blessed) August 30, 2022
“At that time, I had been going to church and decided to get saved. I found a new life and a new meaning of purpose. That’s when I was like, ‘You know what? If God wants me to have this many children, then I’ll have as many children as He deems for me to have.” she said.
Fast forward to now and altogether, the Purnells have had seven boys and five little girls, who all have very unique names and are likewise faith-based names which include Malikhai, 17, Cordell Jr., 17, Janai, 15, Trinity, 13, Messiah, 12, Josiah, 11, Love, 9, Seven, 8, Michael, 6, Royal, 5, Heavenly, 4, and Hope, 3.
Iris Purnell said that she and her family study the Bible together. The scriptures they read together include books such as Psalms 127:3-5 — which reaffirm her beliefs.
“We’re intentional about this walk with God. It has done wonders for our marriage, as far as us coming together, communicating, and being patient with one another,” she said
Iris Purnell said she credits the Bible for helping her through the post-birth anxiety she encountered in 2016 after she went through a crisis C-section and missed seeing the birth of her child, Michael.
To overcome that extreme point in her life, the mother said she prayed to God to give her strength – and spoke nothing but positivity over her newborn child.
“I know words hold power, so I was mindful about the things that I was saying,” Iris Purnell reflected upon that moment. “I used to tell him how great he was and that he was going to be amazing. I’d say positive things out loud and let that be something that I kept my mind on — and it worked.”
She added that she was happy during every one of her pregnancies and just experienced morning sickness and distress with her daughter, Trinity. Seven of her kids were conceived by means of normal labor. While four were conceived through c-section.
At that point, Cordell Purnell said he began to feel stressed in the wake of seeing his significant other go through more than one crisis c-section and the couple talked about their options after Iris became pregnant with Hope — their twelfth child in 2019.
Together they concluded that tubal ligation would be their ideal choice as far as preventing the possibility of more stress on Iris’ body. To most women nowadays they’d probably think that Iris is insane for having that many children and placing that much faith in God. However, she couldn’t be happier.
Iris Purnell as of late wrote on Instagram (where she goes by the name “Mrs. Storm”), “It is never too late, and our children aren’t too young, to learn and to experience the Lord for themselves. They first learn it by our walk and our patience in saying what the Lord would say to them instead of what we would say to them in conversations.”
She added, “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it” – Proverbs 22:6.