After becoming the first mum in Britain to have 10 boys in a row, Alexis Brett had resigned herself to life in an all-male household.
But now the 39-year-old has a whole new a-gender… she has just given birth to her 11th child – a baby girl.
Cradling her new arrival last night, the proud mum said: “We’re over the moon.
“I’d been expecting to hear we were having another boy. But when I found out it was a girl, my face was a picture.
“I was shocked, but delighted. Now she’s here with us, it’s a fantastic feeling.”
And daughter Cameron has already had a remarkable effect on her brothers, who range in age from two to 17.
Dad David, 44, a train driver, said: “They’ve generally been much better behaved around her, trying to keep quiet in case they wake her up.
“They also want to help with holding and feeding her – it’s been great.”
The couple insist Cameron marks the completion of their family, which also includes Campbell, 17, Harrison, 16, Corey, 14, Lachlan, 11, Brodie, nine, Brahn, eight, Hunter, six, Mack, five, Blake, three, and Rothagaidh, two.
“We’re definitely stopping now,’” laughs Alexis. “There’ll be no more. I said that last time, but this time I absolutely mean it. I love my family as it is now.
“Of course, we do get comments about the number of children we have – especially when I was pregnant again.
“But it doesn’t bother me what people think, we’re well used to it. Some people think we must be on benefits, but we’re not. David has a good job, which means we don’t even qualify for full child benefit.”
It was Christmas Eve, as the family were all getting over a sickness bug, that Alexis realised hers seemed to be lingering longer than everyone else’s – and took a home pregnancy test to confirm the news.
But this time the couple, from Dingwall in the Scottish Highlands, decided not to wait until the birth to find out the sex – and instead had a gender scan at a clinic 50 miles away in Elgin, Moray.
Alexis, who has spent more than eight of the last 18 years pregnant, said: “When the results came, Harrison opened the envelope, I was too nervous. We were amazed it was a girl.”
But only child Alexis is adamant she was not holding out for a daughter.
She said: “All my sons are special to me – if another boy had been on the way it wouldn’t have bothered me. We’re asked a lot if we had so many children because we were hoping for that elusive girl.
“I can honestly answer ‘no’. Cameron wasn’t planned, but I was happy all the same. Luckily all my pregnancies have had little or no drama.
I’d never planned to have a large family, but now I do, I love it.
“I always joked I wouldn’t have a clue what to do with a girl… that’s all changed. We’re having a lot of fun buying pink things for the first time.”
Alexis reckons she is “immune” to most birth control – and is now contemplating getting sterilised.
After Cameron’s birth 12 days ago, she plans to return to her new job as a part-time fitness instructor in a few weeks.
Her day usually begins at 5.30am, an hour after David goes off to work – she uses the “quiet” time for a coffee and a shower before the children start to emerge for nursery and school. Alexis does 49 laundry loads a week, and vacuums seven times a day.
She said: “It’s not easy with so many boys running around, but I like everything neat and tidy. I can’t stand mess.”
As she speaks, her youngest boy drops crumbs as he munches a Mini Roll – and out comes the dustpan.
David, diagnosed six years ago with early onset Parkinson’s, is a hands-on dad, sharing the housekeeping duties.
Despite his daily health battle, he says of his huge family: “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always try to have time for each of our boys.
“Medication helps with the symptoms, which are thankfully still minor.
“It’s difficult to have a holiday as one group, that’s not happened for years.
“The seven-week school summer holidays can also be an endurance test – most of the time they’re just happy on their Xbox or Wii Switch.”
Just inside the front door of the family’s five-bedroom detached home, around 40 pairs of Adidas and Vans trainers, as well as school shoes and Hunter wellies of all sizes, are stacked neatly on a shoe rack.
They have to buy at least three pairs of shoes every few weeks. David said: “We don’t tend to do hand-me-downs, there’s no point. Being boys, their clothes never seem to last.”
Although the family have a seven-seater people carrier and a five-seater Range Rover, Alexis cannot drive.
So most weekends David takes the older boys out while Alexis stays home with the younger ones. If they want to go anywhere as a family, David does a double journey.
In between picking up toy cars and Lego – and putting down the toilet seat – Alexis’s one concession to femininity was previously limited to scented candles and flowers.
Now Cameron’s crib sits next to the “It’s a girl!” cards, draped in a bright floral blanket. It quickly becomes clear the having a girl around is proving a novelty, as a procession of boys peer in and poke at their new sister.
One pops a large white toy fur cat, complete with pink ribbon, at her feet.
Alexis said: “David and I sometimes look at each other to say, ‘What have we done?’ But when the boys come out with something funny and make us laugh, it makes it all worthwhile.”