You know how it feels when you discover that you are going to be a father of triplets? You probably don’t.
I know how it feels and it was a weird feeling.
First was the shock… “What did you say? TRIPLETS! Okay, tell me you are joking?”
That was more like my reaction when my wife informed me of the result of her pregnancy scan.
For the next hour or more, a lot of thoughts were going through my head and after some time, I decided that there was a mistake in the scan—the scanning machine was probably flawed.
The very next day, I told my wife to get ready and off we went to St. Bridget, a renowned radiological Centre for MRI Scan & Imaging Center.
Two hours later, we were back home.
It has been confirmed, I was going to be a dad of triplets!
So much thought were raging through my head.
How was I going to cope with the expenses?
How was my wife going to cope with the stress?
What about my wife’s business, what was going to happen to it?
The questions were endless.
After some time, I decided to be a man and tasked myself to focus on the bright side of it.
For the next months, I began saving frantically to the extent that feeding well became an issue. My wife and my little boy began to wonder why I became suddenly tight-handed. I no longer bought things for them when returning from work neither did I continue my usual habit of taking them out every weekend.
I suddenly turned into a different man, in my anxiety and desire to save enough money for the coming of the triplets.
Deep down within me, I was seriously afraid for my wife.
Research on feeding I had come across claimed that Mothers who want to breastfeed their infants have a greater challenge with triplets and higher-order multiples than those of twins or singles. That study, by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) shows that moms of multiples are much more likely to bottle feed their infants.
Being an advocate of breastfeeding just like my wife, I knew she was going to feel very bad having to bottle feed the babies.
However, the major source of my worry was another research study that claimed that triplet births pose special health and development risks for infants for the first 2 years.
Reading all of the research brought all kinds of negative thoughts to my head.
If a research in the UK can claim that Twins and Triplets are five times more likely to die within their first year of life than single babies, then, triplets were twenty times more likely to die in a developing country like Nigeria, our homeland.
Truth be told, I was actually more afraid for my wife than the unborn babies. I couldn’t imagine how she was going to go through the stress of labor to deliver the triplets. It never occurred to me that she would probably need a Cesarean Section to deliver the babies.
As at five months, my wife’s belly was already like a ten-month pregnant woman.
As at the eighth month, she couldn’t stand up from the chair or bed without support neither could she bend down to wash her legs. I practically took over the job of bathing her daily.
I remember a day I got an emergency call from her to come home quickly. I flew out of my office desk, jumped into the first taxi and almost got ejected by the taxi driver as a result of my hassling him to run faster.
I finally got home, rushed upstairs to find her stuck in the toilet.
She had sat on the toilet to ease herself and couldn’t get herself up. Her bulging stomach was practically filling up the toilet space. I got her up and made up my mind never to leave her alone again until she gives birth.
My wife eventually gave birth successfully through a cesarean section, all thanks to God.
Families with multiple births face unique challenges not only associated with medical problems and care. Bringing up these kids to be happy, smart and healthy adults is a tough but worthwhile job. A good number of parents of multiple births need special help in order to cope.
I am sure you may want to hear the specific details of the birth of the triplets and what I went through on that unforgettable day. However, that would be a story for another day.
A version of this post was originally published on LinkedIn and is republished here with the author’s permission.
Photo credit: Flickr/bradleypjohnson