ABBOTSFORD, B.C. - Alexandru Ionce and his wife never planned to have 18 children in 23 years but when they welcomed little Abigail Ionce into the world, that's just what happened.

Abigail weighed in at seven pounds, 12 ounces last Tuesday, making her the 18th child for 44-year-old Livia Ionce and her husband Alexandru, 51.

The couple immigrated to Canada from Romania in 1990 and now live in Abbotsford, B.C. Their 17 other children range in age from 20 months to 23 years old.

Alexandru Ionce does not know if the couple will be having more children.

"We never planned how many children to have," he said. "We just let God guide our lives, you know, because we strongly believe life comes from God and that's the reason we did not stop the life.

"We let life come."

The family now has 10 girls and eight boys.

"We would have liked a boy to be even," he said. "We thank God all of them are healthy and happy."

He said the birth was not an overly difficult one and that mother and child are doing well.

"It's amazing. We are very happy with the newborn," he said "We love her. She is surrounded with love and joy from everyone in our family."

Alexandru Ionce works in the construction industry in the city 60 kilometres southeast of Vancouver.

"Right now, I am not worried about the job. I'm going to stay beside her and help. I have to take care (of) my wife and baby."

Abigail is sleeping well, he added, waking at about 5 a.m. each day for a feeding.

Only a few of the couple's children have been finicky sleepers at an early age, he said.

"We have just a few of them ... two or three of them woke up during the night. Otherwise we had no problem, you know. Each three hours, they wake up, get food and go back to sleep."

Ionce said the family has received calls from Germany, Romania and England, as well as from media outlets across Canada.

One TV station even suggested doing a documentary about what they suggested is the world's largest family.

It's an idea that amused him, but Ionce doubts they hold any record titles.

"I think we are not the largest," he said.