Imagine quarantining with 14 children. Karen and Deon Derrico are living that life now, but it’s not much different from their pre-pandemic days.
They star in TLC’s latest super-sized family series, “Doubling Down with the Derricos.”
The couple told CNN they want to be an example for others who are struggling with having multiples, children with health issues or losing children, all of which the Derricos have experienced and discuss in their new series.
“We have a lot that we have dealt with, that we have gone through and we had no one to turn to,” Deon Derrico said, “There was no book to read. There was no one that resembled us or resembled our situation that we could refer to.”
When the show begins, there are 11 Derrico children, ages 2 to 14, including quintuplets. Karen Derrico is pregnant with triplets in the first few episodes.
Their children were all conceived naturally and without in vitro fertilization, the couple said.
The family is African American and the series feels especially timely given recent discussion regarding cultural attitudes about Black mothers breastfeeding, as well as infant mortality rates in the Black community.
Karen Derrico, who has breastfed all her children, advocates for it, she said, because they suffered two miscarriages before the birth of their first child and a subsequent miscarriage after.
“One day I was just praying and I’m like ‘God, if you bless me with the baby, I want to encompass all of motherhood as far as breastfeeding and just coddling and holding,’” she said. “No one in my family breastfed, no one. So it was something I guess needed as far as motherhood for me.”
Viewers will get to see how she deals with the early delivery of their latest sets of triplets and insight into how they manage with such a large family.
Deon Derrico is a real estate investor and his wife, who has a background in early education, is homeschooling their kids.
Their food bill runs from $2500 to $3500 a month, and they have had to add another vehicle to the family garage to accommodate everyone.
People tuning in will also get to see how well behaved their children are, something they say often shocks people when they are out in public.
Karen Derrico said they started setting boundaries and reinforcing good behavior for their children at a young age.
Her husband added that they are cognizant of not wanting their children’s behavior to be disruptive to others.
“We don’t think it’s our right to infringe on their peace, their privacy, their quiet,” he said. “And so we raise our children, not just for our home, we raise them to exist around other people.”
So far they say the feedback from viewers has been great, with plenty of people reaching out on social media to both thank them for their transparency about their miscarriages and also to share their own stories.
The children are (in birth order): Darian; Derrick; twins Denver and Dallas; quintuplets Deniko, Dariz, Deonee, Daician, and Daiten; twins Diez and Dior; and triplets Dawsyn, De’Aren and Dyver.
As for whether they plan on having anymore children, the couple has something to say about that.
“Stay tuned, stay tuned,” Karen Derrico said as her husband laughed.
“Doubling Down with the Derricos” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on TLC.