Becoming parents is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking times in a couple’s life, especially when things don’t happen as planned. Nia and Robert Tolbert already had three children, so they thought they knew what to expect with this pregnancy. As it turned out, they couldn’t have dreamed what their ultrasound would reveal. Read on to see why this couple beat the odds and stumped the experts, resulting in a family they didn’t expect to have (but couldn’t be happier about).
They Met Through Mutual Friends
Dating can be an arduous process, which is why it can be helpful when friends get involved. For Nia and Robert, it was mutual friends that led to their meeting. Rather than hoping that a stranger would be the one, they lucked out by hitting it off as friends.
The pair met back in 2007. It wasn’t long before everyone could tell that the happy couple would be in it for the long haul. Sure enough, they only grew stronger in their love as the years passed.
They Were Expecting Their First Child!
A few years into dating, Nia and Robert discovered some news that would change their lives forever. They were expecting their first child! The joyous couple couldn’t wait to meet their precious baby.
The little one would be the perfect addition to the loving duo. An ultrasound revealed that their first baby would be a boy! They couldn’t wait to meet the little guy. In September of 2011, Nia gave birth to a healthy son named Shai.
When Shai Was Three, The Couple Got Married
Nia and Robert were overjoyed to welcome their darling son into the world. At the same time, they didn’t want to rush into marriage. The first order of business was to make sure that they were the best parents they could be.
When Shai was three, Nia and Robert decided it was time to tie the knot. The proud couple was officially a family unit, complete with their little boy. It wasn’t long before they received more exciting news.
They Were Pregnant Again!
Before the wedding, Nia discovered more incredible news. She was pregnant again! The couple couldn’t believe all of the exciting things that were happening. The newlyweds would already be parents of two!
They couldn’t wait to find out if the baby would be a boy or a girl. Since they’d already been through pregnancy once before, they thought they knew what to expect. As soon as they saw the ultrasound, they realized they were wrong.
This Time, It Was Twins!
Nia and John were shocked and delighted to find that they wouldn’t be having one baby, but two! Furthermore, both children were boys, meaning they would have a total of three sons.
Yet another surprise happened when Nia went into labor early. In 2015, she gave birth to identical twins 33 weeks into her pregnancy. The premature newborns had to spend two weeks in the NICU before coming home, but they were healthy and happy as can be.
Two More Healthy Additions To The Family
The couple named their twins Riley and Alexander. Though they were born seven weeks early, you would never guess that based on how healthy and adorable they looked. Plus, twins are more likely to be born early, so their circumstance wasn’t that unusual.
Nia and Robert were now parents of three and married. They thought their family was complete and life couldn’t be better. Once again, they were proven wrong when another surprise came their way.
Their Hands Were Full
Many parents will tell you that going from one child to two is quite a big leap. After all, everything doubles. To go from one child to three is even a bigger jump.
All of a sudden, both parents had their arms more than full. They had plenty on their plates to last a while, and watched in awe as their three boys grew. Shai was headed into school and the twins weren’t far behind him.
They Were Expecting A Third Time!
After a few years of married life with their three precious boys, Nia and Robert discovered they were once again pregnant! The family of five was about to get even larger. Though it wasn’t planned, they were very excited.
Being that the couple already had three sons, they couldn’t help but let their mind wander to thoughts of a little girl. The pair grew eager for their first appointment with the doctor, but they had no idea what they were in for.
This Wasn’t Like The First Two Pregnancies
Shai, Riley, and Alexander were growing so fast, but Nia could still remember carrying them like it was yesterday. She knew that something was different about this pregnancy than the last two.
She felt more emotional than ever, and her body was changing more rapidly than before. Nia was taking care of herself by eating right, doing yoga, and taking vitamins. She started to worry that something might be wrong, but had no idea what it could be.
The Ultrasound Revealed Something Unusual
Nia went in for an ultrasound, this time on her own. She was nervous and anxious to see what might be the cause behind her strange experience with this pregnancy. As soon as she saw the curious look on the doctor’s face, she knew something was off.
The technician asked if multiples run in her or Robert’s family. It was at that point that Nia figured she might be having twins again. Still, that didn’t explain the eerie feeling she had.
They Were Having Triplets!
After Nia confirmed that multiples run in the family because she and her husband already have a pair of twins, the technician began double-checking things. She did a whole new ultrasound just to be sure.
At first, it seemed Nia was going to have twins. But after closer inspection, the doctor realized that Nia was pregnant with three babies! This explained her intense symptoms and why she felt that this experience was so different compared to the first two.
The Odds Of Having Triplets After Twins Are Slim
According to the CDC, data from 2016 showed a 1 in 1,000 chance of having triplets. For twins, this number increased to 33 in 1,000. That means that Nia beat the odds not just for twins or triplets, but for both.
What’s even rarer is having triplets directly after having twins. While you might expect to see that with fertility treatments, it’s incredibly rare that it should happen with natural conception. Nia and her doctor were both shocked.
Breaking The News To Robert
Since Nia had made the incredible discovery on her own, it was up to her to break the news to Robert. She had planned a weekend trip without him, so she figured she could do something special before leaving.
Since it was such big news, Nia’s absence would allow Robert to process how big their family was about to grow on his own. She decided to leave him a present that would reveal what was happening.
She Left Him The Sonogram And A Note
Nia decided to leave Robert the sonogram with a small note. All she wrote was a request to “accept this gift” from her and God. Being that Robert had been with her at previous ultrasound appointments, she figured he would know what to look for.
Plus, Robert had seen a sonogram of one child in their first pregnancy, and twins in their second. He would know the difference between multiples and be able to count how many there were this time.
Robert Fainted Over The News
Robert opened up the present to find three sonograms, revealing that they would be having triplets. The news was so overwhelming that he fainted! Nia was right about him needing some time to process.
After all, the number of children they have was about to double, going from three to six! Though it would be a hefty challenge, it was also an immense blessing. The couple would be proud parents to half a dozen children as a result of only three pregnancies.
Preparing For The Triplets
Once Robert had recovered from his initial shock, he called Nia. The couple decided that though they didn’t plan for this, they would be up to the challenge. They began making arrangements and talking about how to best prepare for the triplets.
They would need to find the space for three cribs, and ensure that they had all the toys, clothes, diapers, accessories, etc. that they might need. Fortunately, Nia and Robert already had some of the needed supplies from their first three children.
They Still Wondered If They Would Have A Girl
Since Nia and Robert already had three boys, they couldn’t help but wonder if at least one of the triplets would be a girl. Depending on if they were all identical or fraternal, it was possible that Nia could be carrying boys and/or girls.
Rather than having the doctor tell them the news right away, they decided to do a gender reveal party. The doctor would tell a trusted companion, and the parents would remain left in the dark until the big reveal.
Three Boys And Now Three Girls!
Nia and Robert threw a gender reveal party with all of their closest friends and family. The person who knew the genders filled three balloons with either pink or blue confetti, which would indicate if each baby was a boy or a girl.
Nia popped the balloons, and pink confetti went flying out of each one, fluttering all around her and Robert. The couple smiled from ear to ear as they realized they would be having three girls!
The Boys Were A Little Disappointed At First
Shai, Alexander, and Riley needed some time to warm up to the idea of three little sisters. They were worried that the girls wouldn’t have the same interests that they did, and thought more brothers would mean more siblings like them.
The boys did eventually warm up to the idea of having little sisters. There is something exciting about variety, and having three boys and three girls would mean the house would be perfectly balanced.
They Wondered What It Would Be Like
Even though Nia and Robert were seasoned parents, it felt like being newbies all over again. They didn’t know what to expect with girls, let alone triplets. At the same time, they were excited and up for the challenge.
The fact that the parents of three boys were now expecting triplet girls made their story all the more fascinating. Before they knew it, Nia and Robert were getting media attention! Their story was going viral, and journalists took notice.
They Were On The Local News
Nia and Robert’s story reached their local news station, WUSA-9, and the entire family was featured on the show! The couple got to talk about their experience as parents and the shock of expecting triplets after twins.
Having one child, followed by two, and then three is quite a unique story. For letting the news station tell their story, they were presented with three gift baskets for their triplet girls. The look of utter surprise and gratitude on the family’s faces was priceless.
Then Their Story Went National
Being on the local news was shocking enough, but then the couple got even more media attention. Their story was featured in an article by The Washington Post! Seeing their photo in the newspaper was groundbreaking for the young family.
Things really took off when they were invited to fly to New York to be on the Today show! The family got to vacation in the Big Apple and share their story with the nation!
The Contractions Began Weeks Early
Nia’s due date was on February 9th, but she knew from experience that early labor is more probable with multiples. Sure enough, Nia began undergoing contractions weeks before she was due to deliver.
The contractions continued to grow stronger as the weeks went by, to the point that the couple finally decided to head to the hospital. They were expecting the doctor just to send them back home, especially since Nia’s due date wasn’t for another ten days.
The Triplets Were Born!
When Nia and Robert arrived at the hospital, they were surprised to hear the doctor announce that they would be having the babies today. They performed a C-section on Nia, and the triplets were born on January 30, 2018.
Though all three babies look strikingly similar, only two of them– Zuri and Bailey– are identical. The fraternal triplet was named Mackenzie. Each one weighed between 4 and 4.6 pounds and was healthy as can be.
Nia Was “Finally Alone”
Nia was relieved to have her third pregnancy over with. She joked that she felt she was “finally alone” after the C-section. Carrying one baby, and then two babies was a challenge enough, but three was a whole new level of difficulty.
She became known as the 1-2-3 mom as fans of their story continued to keep tabs on the family through social media. Though the Tolberts were now a much larger family than they expected they’d be, they were full of love and joy.
It Takes A Village
Nia and Robert stress the importance of having family and friends who help out as they raise their six children. They have no idea what they would do without the support they’ve received from loved ones.
As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a family. The parents have had to accept their mounting grocery bills and dwindling hours of sleep. Nia and Robert even started a Fundly account to raise money for a new car!
Celebrating The Triplets First Year Of Life
Those who have been following the Tolberts’ story were overjoyed to see photos of the triplets’ first birthday. The girls all look healthy and happy as ever, and they are certainly surrounded by plenty of love.
Feeding, housing, and caring for a family of eight isn’t a walk in the park, but Nia and Robert make it look effortless. Nia often shares her day-to-day with the kids on their family Facebook page, which is full of outdoor activities and errands.
A Growing Family
Shai, Riley, Alexander, Zuri, Bailey, and Mackenzie are all growing right before our eyes. Fans of the Tolberts have posed the question of whether or not they will have any more kids.
Though Nia and Robert don’t plan on having any more children, experience has taught them that surprises are around every corner. Whether they stick with six children or turn up with quadruplets, we’re confident they’ll provide the most loving environment they can for their beautiful family.