Hong and her children
Do you believe that a couple under thirty years old from Hanoi has over five children at present?
Nguyen Thi Hong and her husband, who reside in Hanoi’s outlying district of Quoc Oai, have eight children. The oldest child is 12 years old while the youngest one is less than a month.
She said she doesn’t have any bad feelings or morning sickness during her pregnancies. The increasing size of her belly made her think she was gaining weight; she often hasn’t discovered her pregnancies until she is five or eight months along.
“It might be my destiny”, Hong said, adding that the couple had discussed contraceptive methods, but she always got pregnant during breastfeeding time.
Hong’s mother-in-law and children.
Contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices are not suitable for her, she said.
The couple thought they couldn’t have more children after Hong had one part of an ovary cut off, but she got pregnant after the surgery. On average, she gives birth to a baby every 18 months.
When the parents go to work, the seven children have to take care themselves. Do Thi Dung, the oldest child, who was born in 2006, picks up the children from kindergarten and does housework like cooking meals and cleaning the house.
Vegetable and rice are the family’s regular food, as they don’t have enough money to buy fish and meat.
The family depends on the father’s work at a construction site with a monthly salary of VNĐ3 million (US$132).
As one of the poorest families in the commune, Hong had to ask her mother-in-law take care of her baby so she could go back to work 10 days after giving birth.
Hong said the couple is considering male sterilization in an effort to stop the “endless circle” of poverty for the family. — VNS