Britain’s biggest family has just got even bigger as proud parents Sue and Noel Radford are celebrating the birth of their 18th child – a baby girl named Hallie Alphia.
Mrs Radford, 39, announced the news on the family’s website, describing the couple’s 7lb 15oz daughter as ‘beautiful’.
The Radfords, who run a successful bakery business in Morecambe, Lancashire, and do not claim any state benefits, said little Hallie was settling in with her older brothers and sisters, and refused to rule out having more children in the future.
The newborn’s middle name is a tribute to her brother Alfie, the couple’s 17th child, who they lost 26 weeks into Mrs Radford’s pregnancy last year.
When she announced her 18th pregnancy in December, Mrs Radford – whose eldest son Chris is 26 – said she had been worried for the new baby after the family’s heartbreak, and said they had picked a name ‘with meaning’.
Writing on their website, Mrs Radford said she had gone to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary on Tuesday last week for what she thought would be a check up, only to be induced and she ended up giving birth the following day.
‘We are so thrilled to announce the safe arrival of our beautiful precious baby girl Hallie Alphia Beau Radford Born on June 3, 2015 weighing 7lb 15oz,’ she said.
‘On Tuesday evening I decided to go the hospital just to get a check up as she hadn’t been moving the same as she usually did at that time of the day.
‘I thought they would just put me on a monitor for half an hour and then be sent home but that was not to be even after a good trace they decided to induce me due to reduced movements. I was so relieved as I’ve been so anxious this last few weeks and particularly that day.
‘We would just like to thank all the staff at the RLI for the fantastic care we’ve received throughout my pregnancy and her safe arrival.
The Radfords, who run a successful bakery business in Morecambe, Lancashire, and do not claim any state benefits, said little Hallie was settling in with her older brothers and sisters
‘She’s so doted on by all her brothers and sisters and is settling in really well. We are so in love with her.’
Mrs Radford and her husband, 43, are already parents to Chris, Sophie, 21, Chloe, 19, Jack, 17, Daniel, 15, Luke, 14, Millie, 13, Katie, 12, James, 11, Ellie, nine, Aimee, eight, Josh, seven, Max, six, Tillie, four, Oscar, three and two-year-old Caspar. The couple also have two grandchildren.
Mr and Mrs Radford were childhood sweethearts and she got pregnant with their first child at the age of just 14.
They proudly say ‘no-one thought it would last’ but they are still happy after all these years.
The family, who have appeared on Channel 4 documentary series 16 Kids And Counting, live in a ten-bedroom converted Lancashire care home – and Mrs Radford said they had not ruled out having more children in the future.
‘I think she’ll be the last, but I never say never. We won’t actively try but I won’t go on the pill,’ she told The Sun’s Rachel Dale.
‘We’ll leave it to nature, if we’re meant to have more then I suppose we will.’
Hallie’s birth comes almost a year after the Radfords lost baby Alfie. Mrs Radford had noticed that the baby had not been moving much, and she could not find his heartbeat.
The couple went to hospital for a reassurance test, only to learn that their child had died.
Writing shortly after, Mrs Radford, said: ‘I think losing a child changes you as a person, I’m not the same person I was before I lost Alfie.
‘I will never be that person again but I’m learning to live life as an angel mummy and put a smile on my face when there’s times I really don’t feel like smiling.’
When she announced she was pregnant with Hallie, Mrs Radford had written posted a high definition of the little girl and wrote: ‘I think she had just been sucking her thumb, bless her. If you look closely at this picture you will be able to see a little face watching over her to make sure she is OK, she has the best guardian angel watching over her – her big brother Alfie.’