|Woman told she was too anorexic to have children now has brood of NINE - with twins on the way|
By ANDY DOLAN
Melissa Cunsamy was devastated when doctors shattered her dream of having a big family.
Her five-year battle with eating disorders had left its mark on her body, they said, and she was unlikely to conceive a child.
But Mrs Cunsamy and her husband Mike proved the experts wrong - ten times.
The couple are the proud parents of nine (including one set of twins), and expect another set of twins in July.
Defying the odds: The Cunsamy family - with two more on the way
Incredibly, all but their eldest, Charlotte, were born after Mrs Cunsamy suffered an ectopic pregnancy and had a fallopian tube removed, which halved her already poor chances of conception.
Yesterday the Cunsamys, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, told how they felt "blessed" at having such a large brood.
Both have given up work to look after the children. Mrs Cunsamy, 36, a former checkout assistant, suffered from low self-esteem and battled anorexia and bulimia from the age of 19.
Five years later, she met her husband, a former motor mechanic, when he called in to the Tesco store where she worked.
Two years later, Charlotte arrived safe and well.
Mrs Cunsamy said: "I was told by doctors that if I didn't beat my eating disorders, I would end up six feet under.
"They said my chances of having children were very, very slim and I was absolutely devastated.
"But when Charlotte was born it was like sunshine was brought into my life.
"When you've been told you'll never have kids and then you fall pregnant it's just wonderful."
By January 1999, she was pregnant with Charlene, now eight, and over the following six years had Dominic, seven, Natalie, six, Jean Pierre, four, Pierre-Laval, three, twins Gabriella and Gabrielle, two, and baby Antoine, 18 months.
The Cunsamys have crammed three sets of bunk beds into their three-bedroom, semi-detached property, with the oldest and youngest children sharing one of the bunks, Jean Pierre and Pierre-Laval another and twins Gabrielle and Gabriella top and tailing in a third.
The family gets through six loaves of bread a week, along with 48 pints of milk and eight cartons of orange juice, and to get around they own a 12-seater minibus
Mrs Cunsamy added: "I guess we are lucky because the children aren't fussy eaters.
"The kids have their moments like all brothers and sisters do but they all get along great and play happily with each other.
"They have learned to share and we are really proud of all of them. We can take them out and they behave impeccably, they are all well mannered and respectful.
"By just after 8pm they're all in bed. They are all happy children and we are happy to be their mum and dad.
"We thrive on looking after them and just put our tiredness to one side. They certainly keep us feeling young."
Mr Cunsamy, 45, gave up work as a motor mechanic eight years ago to help care for the children as his wife has a slow-moving disc in her back which affects her mobility.
Mr Cunsamy added: "The children come first, they are our priority and I wouldn't be without them.
"I don't think bringing up children is hard. You get so much back from them, such love and the funny things they say and do."