A woman has become a mother to a huge brood of children despite being told her she wouldn’t be able to conceive because of her history with a severe eating disorder.
Leah Williams was incredibly unwell with anorexia at the age of 20.
At the time, Leah, had one son – Jacob – and doctors highly doubted she would be able to have any more due to her illness.
Leah, who lives in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, believed the ‘damage was done’ as her menstrual cycle stopped, but aged 24, she began the road to recovery.
Now, two decades on, Leah, 40, has defied the odds and has eight more children ranging from 15 to four months old.
The stay-at-home mum says: ‘I never imagined having a big family.
‘Especially after my GP said I won’t be able to have any more children due to being anorexic.’
Leah developed an eating disorder when she was 19 after having her wisdom tooth removed.
‘My eating disorder didn’t start because of my image,’ she says. ‘I had my tooth removed but part of the root was left which took a while to get fixed.
‘I couldn’t eat and it spiralled from there. I fell down a rabbit hole and it was very hard to get back out.
‘I was skeletal, but I had to get better for Jacob, now 21, as he was really young at the time.’
Leah had counselling and managed to start her recovery from anorexia when she was 24.
During the same year, she tied the knot with Nick, now 49, and they went on to have Eleanor, now 15.
‘I didn’t want any more children after being a single parent for so long but then we decided to have one,’ she says. ‘We then thought another baby won’t hurt.
‘I was working as a support worker for deaf and blind adults at the time but I quit after having Evie. And then we just continued having babies.’
The couple are now proud parents to Jacob, 21, Eleanor, 15, Evie, 12, Morgan, 10, Ben, seven, Frankie, six, Vinnie, four, Emmie, two, and Edith, four months.
She adds: ‘We never planned on having so many children but it has just happened.
‘We wouldn’t change our family for the world. Our household is chaotic and crazy but it is lovely.
‘Eleanor said it’s “silly” when I announced I was pregnant with Emmie, but they are all very accepting of the babies.’
The busy mum – who washes five loads of clothes per day – has faced some rude comments and stares.
‘We have received a lot of backlash, I used to be bothered, but now I’m not,’ she says.
‘Some people have asked if we own a TV and if we are finished having children yet.
‘But no, we probably aren’t as nine is an odd number so might have one more to make it even!
‘I have also overheard people saying they can’t believe I am pregnant again. But I can’t believe it either – it is a miracle that my body went back to normal.
‘My GP still laughs to this day because he can’t believe I have defied the odds too.’
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