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First Generation of Quiverfull families VS. Second Generatio


TrueRebel1

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So I was reading a few threads here about recent fundie pregnancy announcements, and the speculation about how many children certain families may end up with, and how some of the mothers are suffering severe health issues due to back-to-back pregnancies.

 

I got to thinking about the first vs. second generation of quiverfulls (no-birth control, wanting large families).

 

I'm a second generation (well, I'm not quiverfull, but some of my siblings and friends are). I realize that my parents, and many other couples in the first generation had a different scenario than many of the young quiverfull couples today.

 

The first generation, many couples started out with the intention of having 2 or 3 children (often with a few years of married life before conceiving). The first couple kids were spaced reasonably. A few years after their birth, the parents were convicted of becoming quiverfull. Many of these couples have 2-5 or more years between their first "planned" kids, and the next several "quiverfull" kids. Additionally, many of these couples, by the time they became quiverfull, were already well into their fertile years, and therefore either weren't fertile enough to pump our a baby every year, or the mom's fertility ended before they could have a ridiculous number of children. These parents look back and say (and taught their children), "Having lots of kids was wonderful! We wish we never had the space between them, and had even more kids! Mom was happy and healthy!".

 

The second generation, many couples are marrying young. They are starting their families right away. There are no breaks like their parents had. The mom's health declines rapidly, and in some cases causes her pregnancies to be very dangerous, prone to premature birth, or even permanently no be able to have children. Many of the children may have health issues caused by troubled pregnancies, or less-than-ideal nutrition when the mom is quickly pregnant again and not able to breastfeed or have the energy (or money) to feed the baby/child an ideal diet.

 

Is my impression of the generational differences correct? What else do you think is effecting the sad state of quiverfull family's childbearing? Or is there a good percentage of these couple who are successful, happy, and healthy, and pumping our a baby every year? When will the second generation wake up and realize that the "cursed" and "sinful" child spacing that their parents used, was probably the saving grace of them being able to have a large family?

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I don't have any real life experience with quiverfull families but I think you bring up some very interesting points. I have noticed, just based on my own experience and of people I know, that very closely spaced or difficult pregnancies can lead to general health problems for the children. For example, my two youngest are only 14 months apart and I was very ill with mild hyperemisis each pregnancy. My youngest has always been a fairly sickly kid, because, I think, she didn't get enough nutrients and my body was already worn out.nothing major, but more prone to catch every bug and taking longer to recover, easily tired, etc., She now has children and with her oldest had hyperemisis gravadium so severe that she was hospitalized several times and even offered an abortion at our Catholic hospital. Her daughter was born very healthy but has horrible teeth, constant cavities despite great oral hygiene, had to have a couple of baby teeth pulled even -- because, I think, her mother didn't have enough nutrients during the pregnancy.

Anyway, I know several people who have similar stories -- closely spaced pregnancies and / or complications leading to kids with some, usually minor, health issues. But I think if that goes on generation after generation there would likely be some major weakening of people's bodies and overall health. And if this 2 nd generation is having double digits of kids I would think at least some of them would have many problems their parents didn't face, partly because they, themselves, might already be a little less healthy if they were a later born child. Does that make sense?

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This probably interests me the most about quiverfull families. I see the second generation-ers going one of two ways:

1. The special ones, chosen by God to bring back His ideals to a wayward nation. These kids grew up with little to no understanding of reality, and as such, are nuttier than their parents. See: Pecan Thief, Smuggar, John Shrader (hmm look at that, all of Pa Keller's choices), Perry Coughlan, the Bradricks

2. The ones who are sick of raising their own siblings or their nieces and nephews (as I think the younger Duggar girls will have to do) and, after having the first couple children within a couple years of marriage as expected, drift into conservative Christian territory. See: Rebekah MacDonald, Alyssa Bates, Kristina (who tried, and failed, to use some sort of NFP)

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Is my impression of the generational differences correct? What else do you think is effecting the sad state of quiverfull family's childbearing? Or is there a good percentage of these couple who are successful, happy, and healthy, and pumping our a baby every year? When will the second generation wake up and realize that the "cursed" and "sinful" child spacing that their parents used, was probably the saving grace of them being able to have a large family?

If you look at the FLDS and other polygamous fundamentalists you may get a pretty good picture of the future of quiverfull. Specifically the health effects of being constantly pregnant and living in poverty. Like the the children of polygamists, some may never "wake up" and others will move away from the religion.

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Fascinating topics, and lots of them.

I turn as usual to my gateway family, the Servens.

In a handy reference page which Marcus surely never thought would serve us so well - servenclan.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2005-01-01T00:00:00-06:00&updated-max=2006-01-01T00:00:00-06:00&max-results=50 - we have the kids' ages as of 1/1/05 and in a 2007 post we learn that matriarch Cheryl turned 50 to quite the event - seriously, the adult and wee children put on a heck of a show, including moving a piano and a full size harp to meadow out of sight of the clan home.

Anyhoo. Here'e what my maths show:

Cheryl had her first when she was 22.

After that, the average spacing is 2.6 years, the mode is 3 years. Her last was born when she was 43, thus she turned 50 with a 7-year-old in the house.

The youngest three children don't photograph as though they have the same joie de vivre of the older six, JMHO. Whether or not that's something to do with dear mother's physical capacity during their pregnancies, or with parents who are in their later 50s with grandchildren and mid- and young-teened sons, I can't tell.

And maybe my observation and HO are totally flawed.

Eliz has 4 kids now, right? And Rebeckers has 2 despite not having been able to even try 'til she was the shady side of 29. Perhaps their parents, keeping the eldest girls home well into their 20s, did a favor to them. Sure, they can have 9 or 10 kids, but will they?

Also I think of BMJB's and BDJB's families of origin. The youngest children indeed had a little more "wrong" with them than the older, physically. They were more prone to get into serious trouble, although part of that had to do with seriously exhausted, older parents living in pretty dire poverty (NOT Abigail's well-fed, hotel-vacationing "poverty'!)

Meanwhile, TTBOMK the three married Serven sons have begat a measly two or three children altogether -- Nat and NR Emily,last time I checked, had none. My point being, maybe the 2nd-generation boys who marry gals new to the heresy of FIC and Q-full are finding themselves less fertile because of .... chance, sure, that's the reason!!!! ;)

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I don't have any real life experience with quiverfull families but I think you bring up some very interesting points. I have noticed, just based on my own experience and of people I know, that very closely spaced or difficult pregnancies can lead to general health problems for the children. For example, my two youngest are only 14 months apart and I was very ill with mild hyperemisis each pregnancy. My youngest has always been a fairly sickly kid, because, I think, she didn't get enough nutrients and my body was already worn out.nothing major, but more prone to catch every bug and taking longer to recover, easily tired, etc., She now has children and with her oldest had hyperemisis gravadium so severe that she was hospitalized several times and even offered an abortion at our Catholic hospital. Her daughter was born very healthy but has horrible teeth, constant cavities despite great oral hygiene, had to have a couple of baby teeth pulled even -- because, I think, her mother didn't have enough nutrients during the pregnancy.

Anyway, I know several people who have similar stories -- closely spaced pregnancies and / or complications leading to kids with some, usually minor, health issues. But I think if that goes on generation after generation there would likely be some major weakening of people's bodies and overall health. And if this 2 nd generation is having double digits of kids I would think at least some of them would have many problems their parents didn't face, partly because they, themselves, might already be a little less healthy if they were a later born child. Does that make sense?

Definitely makes sense! I know many of the posters here make fun of "natural medicine" type of topics, but I have found the studies of Dr. Weston Price to be highly interesting. He basically found, after studying many tribes and cultures, that the nutrition of the parents directly impacts the health of the next generation. Even the things that we commonly consider "genetic" or "random" such as dental decay, narrow facial structure, narrow pelvic bones, poor eye sight, weak bones, poor immune system, etc. I think there is a lot of truth to his theories and studies. That is why it bothers me when quiverfulls think they are glorifying God by pumping out babies as fast as they can -- never mind that the babies are being fed the cheapest formula possible because mama is already pregnant again, or that toddlers are eating wonder bread and tater-tots as their main-stay, or that mom isn't getting a balanced diet and given time to replenish her nutritional stores. Just as long as we bring more kids into the world, who cares if we are compromising their health, and therefore the gene pool at large? Anyhoo, kind of my pet peeve, so I'll end my rant. :think:

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Fascinating topics, and lots of them.

Also I think of BMJB's and BDJB's families of origin. The youngest children indeed had a little more "wrong" with them than the older, physically. They were more prone to get into serious trouble, although part of that had to do with seriously exhausted, older parents living in pretty dire poverty (NOT Abigail's well-fed, hotel-vacationing "poverty

Now that's very interesting. I've also noticed the trend towards wildness of younger children in big families, and always attributed it to the parents just being more overwhelmed and burnt- out by the time the littlest ones came along -- but I wonder if it is partly due to the mom's physical condition after many pregnancies. Obviously this isn't true for all big families, but I wonder if anyone has done any studies. I know with the families I know, the health issues are minor - so probably not something that would come up when people do research-- interesting topic though.

I wonder if when the 1 generation fundamentalists youngest children reach their teens/ young adulthood - will they go wild and rebel more than their older siblings? Most of the 1 st generation would still have minor children at home, right?

As far as the child spacing goes, I would think that one thing that will factor into whether the 2 nd generation stays quiverfull is if their natural fertility leads to a child every year, or one every three years. Both are within the normal range if the mother breastfeeds. If a couple marries at 20 and starts having a baby every year I would bet most of them would find some way to at least just happen to have a headache during their most fertile times by the time they hit 30, if not going for full on birth control. If they are only having a new baby when the last one is out of diapers it would probably be much easier to maintain their convictions. IMO.

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So I was reading a few threads here about recent fundie pregnancy announcements, and the speculation about how many children certain families may end up with, and how some of the mothers are suffering severe health issues due to back-to-back pregnancies.

I got to thinking about the first vs. second generation of quiverfulls (no-birth control, wanting large families).

I'm a second generation (well, I'm not quiverfull, but some of my siblings and friends are). I realize that my parents, and many other couples in the first generation had a different scenario than many of the young quiverfull couples today.

The first generation, many couples started out with the intention of having 2 or 3 children (often with a few years of married life before conceiving). The first couple kids were spaced reasonably. A few years after their birth, the parents were convicted of becoming quiverfull. Many of these couples have 2-5 or more years between their first "planned" kids, and the next several "quiverfull" kids. Additionally, many of these couples, by the time they became quiverfull, were already well into their fertile years, and therefore either weren't fertile enough to pump our a baby every year, or the mom's fertility ended before they could have a ridiculous number of children. These parents look back and say (and taught their children), "Having lots of kids was wonderful! We wish we never had the space between them, and had even more kids! Mom was happy and healthy!".

The second generation, many couples are marrying young. They are starting their families right away. There are no breaks like their parents had. The mom's health declines rapidly, and in some cases causes her pregnancies to be very dangerous, prone to premature birth, or even permanently no be able to have children. Many of the children may have health issues caused by troubled pregnancies, or less-than-ideal nutrition when the mom is quickly pregnant again and not able to breastfeed or have the energy (or money) to feed the baby/child an ideal diet.

Is my impression of the generational differences correct? What else do you think is effecting the sad state of quiverfull family's childbearing? Or is there a good percentage of these couple who are successful, happy, and healthy, and pumping our a baby every year? When will the second generation wake up and realize that the "cursed" and "sinful" child spacing that their parents used, was probably the saving grace of them being able to have a large family?

Kim and Perry Coghlan are both second generation QF fundie homeschoolers. They married at 19. They haven't had any fertility issues (apart from a few miscarriages, which is to be expected) and all their kids are healthy.

Perry does seem to be having a bit of an identity crisis in the wake of Dougie's fall from grace, and they are being way less strict with their daughters (allowing working outside the home, pants, a co-ed gym, hair dying, access to more mainstream media). I was reading the early posts on Kim's blog (and Perry's. did you know he used to have a blog?) and it's hard to believe it's about the same family. I don't think Kim is questioning fundie orthodoxy as much as Perry, but she's hardcore about patriarchy and wifely submission, so she has to go along for the ride.

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The second generation of Mortons are having babies every year. I can't think of another one. Maybe the Muellers?

Well, the Smiths, of course! :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

And the Browns, though in Kelly's case I get it. Wouldn't being pregnant all the time be preferable to having Sippy all up your bidness 24/7?

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The second generation of Mortons are having babies every year. I can't think of another one. Maybe the Muellers?

The Muellers it's hard to tell. Becca, who married first, had four within five years and is now pregnant again. Julie has been married almost two years and only has one (so far). Their brother's wife just had her second in two years. However, Valerie has been married over two years and still only has one (once again, so far), which could be due to the fact that she was over 30 (and IMHO the luckiest) when she was married. Both she and her husband Adam Waller are the oldest of ten (which would be an interesting case for those who study birth order and couples), so unless something changes, she is on track to have fewer kids than both sets of parents. And they are one of the few couples I've seen to admit on their blog how disappointed they were not to be pregnant right away.

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Well, the Smiths, of course! :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

And the Browns, though in Kelly's case I get it. Wouldn't being pregnant all the time be preferable to having Sippy all up your bidness 24/7?

Though she has to let him up there (literally) to conceive the blessing that may (or may not) keep him out.

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The Kellers only have 3 Quiverful children (all daughters) out of 6 married (or not, in Susannah's case) kids. Of those only Esther seems to be hyper fertile - but the Kellers themselves had a relatively small quiver too.

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Well, the Smiths, of course! :whistle: :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:

And the Browns, though in Kelly's case I get it. Wouldn't being pregnant all the time be preferable to having Sippy all up your bidness 24/7?

I don't know how I forgot about the Smiths! I wonder if Bethany is pregnant. She had two kids in two years.

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The Kellers only have 3 Quiverful children (all daughters) out of 6 married (or not, in Susannah's case) kids. Of those only Esther seems to be hyper fertile - but the Kellers themselves had a relatively small quiver too.

The other 2 may just be a little smarter than we give them credit for ;)

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The other 2 may just be a little smarter than we give them credit for ;)

Wouldn't be hard for Priscilla to have more intelligence than she's generally credited with

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Another interesting fact, which I forgot to mention in my first post, is that quite possibly the first generation of Quiverfull couples didn't expect a "full quiver" to be back-to-back pregnancies and 10, 12 or more children.

I'm remembering reading Mary Pride's book, "The Way Home", where (if I'm recalling correctly!) she maintains that the average couple who uses no birth control would have 5 children spaced by 2-3 years. She taught that breastfeeding would provide the majority of couples with a natural spacing of children, and that the possibility of having 20 kids was so ridiculous that no one should be afraid of going birth-control-free. (Does anyone have a copy of the book, and perhaps provide the actual quote?)

In my childhood, growing up with quiverfull families, we knew one family with 12 children and our quiverfull community considered them extraordinary and unusual. Most of the families, who considered themselves a "large" family, had 5-7 kids. This was in the late 80's to the mid-90's.

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Having 10-12 kids if you don't use birth control isn't that unusual. My FIL is one of 11 children, and his mother breastfed each for 2 years.

Going back through some family genealogy records, fewer children were often related to outside factors like war, illness, starvation, forced separation, high infant mortality, maternal mortality, etc.

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So quiverful was a bill of goods in yet another way from the beginning.

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I can see how they would be much more easily sold on the no birth control idea if they assumed it would lead to 5 or 6 children with a good deal of spacing between each.

Personally, I would have liked to have given birth to more children, but when I got pregnant when one baby was only 5 months, despite the exclusive breastfeeding thing, and had other earlier pregnancies despite using birth control, and was still in my mid-twenties with 4 small children -- it seemed like a tubal was the smart way to go. Because I definitely would have easily hit double digits, even with trying not to.

I had relatives looking back through my family tree who had 20+ kids! all of whom survived. I think this lifestyle would be far more appealing to the younger generation guiverfull whose parents had the every 2.5 to 3 year average. Particularly if they wait to marry until 25 ish.

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The first gen chose this. The second gen was led into it. The first gen chose their own spouses. The second gen is supposed to wait for daddy, and that's not always working out so well. I doubt we'll see a blooming third or fourth gen.

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It seems the % second gen of QF is getting smaller. I dont see all of the Duggar grandkids, Kellers, or even the Maxwell 3rd gen following the same pattern. By the time great grandkids come in the pic , the 1st generation will be older or deceased. They wont' be able to make them all toe the line. Didn't the Puritans have the same vision as QF? If so the odds of it surviving aren't; great.

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The first gen chose this. The second gen was led into it. The first gen chose their own spouses. The second gen is supposed to wait for daddy, and that's not always working out so well. I doubt we'll see a blooming third or fourth gen.

Agree! I always felt that the 1st generation choose this life!

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I always think one of the biggest disadvantages that second gen families have is with their education. Presumably, the first gen QFers had a somewhat normal education if they turned to the QF lifestyle as adults. But if they are homeschooling their kids (in the Duggar style, not speaking about normal pro-education homeschoolers), their kids education is like a copy of an original... not quite as good. The farther down that line they go, the more their educations become a copy of a copy of an original, etc. Scary thought for 3-4 generations down the line!!

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It seems the % second gen of QF is getting smaller. I dont see all of the Duggar grandkids, Kellers, or even the Maxwell 3rd gen following the same pattern. By the time great grandkids come in the pic , the 1st generation will be older or deceased. They wont' be able to make them all toe the line. Didn't the Puritans have the same vision as QF? If so the odds of it surviving aren't; great.

Come to think of it, what are the differences between the puritans and quiver full? Serious question. Any theology buffs?

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