I was talking with my dad today about maybe having more children, and we talked a lot about his family. he's the youngest of 14 siblings, and he had a half brother who was thirty-some years older than he is (the half brother had a different mother). his mother was pregnant just about every two years from the time she had her first baby at 15, til she had my dad at 43. I always knew it was unique (well, maybe not for the time and place) to have a family like that, but it seems flat-out INSANE now that I'm taking care of just one baby. in the interest of full disclosure, though, my grandfather was an abusive alcoholic, and I'm not sure he ever gave her a chance to say no to him anyway. combine that with the fact that they couldn't afford birth control, and, well, you've got a dirt-poor Appalachian family with 14 kids. she also raised several of her grandchildren after her daughter left them. still, my dad says he never felt like they were poor (I guess they were just as poor as everyone else on the mountain, so whatever), and the family was (and still is) pretty close. he also told me that he remembers her finally weaning him completely from breastfeeding. he was probably five or six, and when he went into her bedroom at night like usual, she told him he'd have to drink milk from a cow now. his reaction: "I hope that damn cow dies." I laughed my butt off imagining him saying that! and that's committed nursing - the woman was pushing 50 before she cut him off!
anyway, I liked hearing about their crazy family, so I figured you all might too. and for reference, my dad was born in 1947. his father was born in 1892, so he was 55 when my dad was born. not quite as impressive as cynthiamoon's, but still pretty good.