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Seeing double? East Coast parents of multiples busy, but wouldn’t have it any other way

Twice as nice? Cassandra Murphy from Burin, N.L. has two sets of twins. Here, big sister Cavelle and her twin brother Xander take a closer look at their younger siblings – also twins – Hannah and Brody.
Twice as nice? Cassandra Murphy from Burin, N.L. has two sets of twins. Here, big sister Cavelle and her twin brother Xander take a closer look at their younger siblings – also twins – Hannah and Brody. - Contributed

“They were an unplanned blessing, and they complete us,” says Megan Hunt.

Life is hectic, loud, and very busy for the Mount Pearl, N.L. woman, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

On her older son’s third birthday, Hunt gave birth to fraternal triplets Ryder, Austin, and Dominic.

At the start of her pregnancy, Hunt kept having dreams of more than one baby. The idea wasn’t that far-fetched, as her maternal grandmother was a twin.

When asked at an ultrasound if twins ran in her family, Hunt became suspicious.

Then the technician said it wasn’t twins.

“I remember sighing a huge breath of relief and I said, 'Thank God.' And then her face just went very serious and said, 'Because I see three heads - there's triplets!'” says Hunt.

“I remember I just shot up from the bed and exclaimed, ‘What did you say is in me?!’"


Megan Hunt and Chad Lowther, of Mount Pearl, N.L., are the proud parents of a set of fraternal triplets and a singleton. She says people get them mixed up occasionally, but says she even call them the wrong name at times. From left are Ryder, Dominic, Jayden and Austin Lowther. - Contributed
Megan Hunt and Chad Lowther, of Mount Pearl, N.L., are the proud parents of a set of fraternal triplets and a singleton. She says people get them mixed up occasionally, but says she even call them the wrong name at times. From left are Ryder, Dominic, Jayden and Austin Lowther. - Contributed


The rate of spontaneous triplets is one in 9,000, says Magdalena Kujath, a Kentville, N.S. mom.

“Once you have triplets, one in nine thousand seems like it is not rare enough to explain your experience. From the reaction of people around you, it almost feels like you gave birth to puppies,” she says.

Kujath knows all about that - she gave birth to triplets with a three- and five-year-old already at home.


Cassandra Murphy, Burin, N.L. has two sets of twins. She says they always put the babies down for naps at the same times and fed them at the same time, and that’s as far as organization went in her house. Pictured, from left, are her oldest daughter Cavelle, youngest daughter Hannah, Murphy, youngest son Brody and oldest son Xander. - Contributed
Cassandra Murphy, Burin, N.L. has two sets of twins. She says they always put the babies down for naps at the same times and fed them at the same time, and that’s as far as organization went in her house. Pictured, from left, are her oldest daughter Cavelle, youngest daughter Hannah, Murphy, youngest son Brody and oldest son Xander. - Contributed


Double blessings - twice

When Cassandra Murphy of Burin, N.L. gave birth to twins, she wasn’t overly surprised as her aunts were twins, so there was a one in 90 chance she would have twins as well. Having a set of fraternal twins increases your chances for another fraternal twin pregnancy by 12 per cent, she says.

That's exactly what happened - Murphy gave birth to a second set of twins when her first set was three.

When asked how she stays sane, Murphy laughs, “What’s sane? There is no such thing.”

Overall, raising twins is not that hard, says Murphy. But, then again, she’s never had to raise one child at a time.

"I only know what it’s like to handle two at a time," she says.

When comparing life with twins to those with singletons, Murphy says twins nap at the same time, but with twins at two different ages, there are two nap times. Twins have the same meal preparation instead of different mealtimes and food requirements. Potty training is easy as twins start at the same time, whereas singletons may have one potty training and one in diapers. In school, twins have the same homework, while singletons have different schoolwork.


Magdalena Kujath, from Kentville, N.S. gave birth to a set of triplets after having two older children. She says she now feels more like a single mom of five kids, than a mom of triplets.  - Contributed
Magdalena Kujath, from Kentville, N.S. gave birth to a set of triplets after having two older children. She says she now feels more like a single mom of five kids, than a mom of triplets. - Contributed


Multitasking champs

For Kujath, there was a time that having triplets seemed like a defining central feature of her state of motherhood but, with her triplets now seven, she says she is just a mom of five. To some, that seems equally insane, but she says it's not in the least.

"Having multiples means you become a champ at multitasking," says Murphy. "It also means you have to be organized and create systems in the house that work."

As a mom of triplets, Kujath faced unique logistical considerations even in her home: “How do I get these babies up and down the stairs on my own? I only have two arms!”

The answer? In shifts. She had cribs and other “baby cages” all over her house so she could leave a combination of babies in one spot while running with the other one(s) to another floor.

You also try to avoid changing location even within your own home as much as possible, explains Kujath.

"We had soothers, wipes, diapers and other baby accouterments stuffed in nearly every room of our home to avoid such dramatic location changes at all costs. My older boys, three and five when the triplets were born, also became instant gofers and helpers so that the adults didn’t have to leave any babies behind," she says.

Laundry is a never-ending task and feeding becomes a scheduled, highly-organized task.

"Because I breastfed as much as possible, I had an elaborate system of rings on my fingers to tell me which baby to nurse first, which one got the bottle," says Kujath.

“I don’t even know how, in my sleep-deprived brain, I could even figure it out, but the human mind is incredible. Once it decides something is important, every brain cell is recruited to make it happen."

Other challenges include trying to find a babysitter, and the waiting lists for daycare, says Murphy. Sometimes they only have room for just one child. Then, there's finding a vehicle.

“If there’s enough seats, there’s never enough trunk space, and finding a good deal that’s affordable is also a challenge,” says Murphy.

Not to mention finding a vehicle that a super-sized stroller will fit in.

Challenges and joys

There isn't anything Hunt wishes people would stop asking - she’s pretty open and is proud to share her story. Although, it does bother her when they are out in stores - which Kujath notes can take an hour to prepare to do - when people chase them around to ask them questions.

“It just got overwhelming! Especially as with three babies, you are on a time limit to do things until they have to be changed and fed again.”

One of the greatest joys of multiples, says Hunt, is how close they are.

"People have always said that multiples have their own language, and I totally believe that all they have to do is look at each other and then they all go do the same thing. It makes me nervous at times because I'm like, are they plotting to destroy me or something?" she jokes.

Occasionally, Kujath says she gets looks of distress, pity, amusement especially when they learn she’s a single mom.

"I’d say to those people, 'Yes I do have my hands full, but I am also bathing in perpetual love.'”

Through it all, Murphy says one of the biggest joys is conquering the challenges.

“You overcome or figure out how to deal with one thing, then boom! Things change and you have to figure out another,” she says.

Hunt says that the challenges are easier now as the children are older.

"You just have to take everything with a grain of salt and figure it out and go with your gut," she says.

For parents of multiples, there is support available through organizations such as Multiple Births Canada, which has chapters across the country, which offers workshops, events, and information.


 Learn more at https://www.multiplebirths.ca/

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