Multiple2multiple-liz wala shares her story


“Motherhood to me means nurturing a young person who is initially dependent on you for almost everything to an independent being confident to face the world and make the right choices in life based on the way you brought them up. One doesn’t have to give birth to a child to be a mother. So anyone who is in your custody as a woman automatically shapes you into a mother.

 Motherhood is one of those skills that one doesn’t get from a formal school. You learn as you go along.  I believe that it is important to surround themselves with people who can offer guidance in this journey as it is not for the faint hearted. Motherhood has no monetary reward but the joy of watching another human life developing from the early stages to independence is out of this world.

When I discovered that I was expectant with triplets, both my husband and I had mixed reactions. We were both in the ultra sound room with our then 2 year old son, when the sonographer declared with shock that there were 3 little sacs at 11 weeks’ scan. My husband went into a zombie mode for almost 2 days and the next words he uttered were “How will we manage financially?”

 I, on the other hand was initially excited and spread the message to my immediate family who all thought was a joke. And then I went to the place where I find rest…my beautician’s. After the news sank in, being a medic, I started worrying about the high risk nature of the pregnancy. I knew it was a delicate situation. However, with my doctor’s reassurance and with plenty of people supporting us in prayer (I would like to single out our Bible study group that meets weekly and would always pray for us), the journey was smooth (well, mostly, if you ignore the terrible nausea, vomiting and the never-ending stretching!). I was working throughout (and even travelling) right up to my 30th week when I could not even get out of bed! I went on bed rest and the 3 lovely girls were eventually born at 34 weeks. They stayed in premie care unit for almost 2 weeks (the most trying time of my life) before we took them home. They will be turning 4 years in March 2014.

To say being a mother of multiples is a roller-coaster ride is an understatement! Everything comes in multiples…from problems to the joys such as nanny issues (we had to have 2 for the first 3 years of their life), potty training (imagine the mess from 3 toddlers!), finances (formula, clothes, diapers, transport, school fees, beds etc), illnesses (one gets a cold and infects the rest!) and so on. But the joy at watching them achieve milestones learning to talk, metamorphing into their different personalities bonding with their brother (when they are not fighting!) and so on has been a great joy. I wish to say that the support from friends and family both in cash and in kind has been immense. We have never lacked. We are so fortunate and forever grateful. And with that experience I decided to “pay it forward” by forming a society called Multiples To Multiples that assists other parents of multiples along this journey. It is still in its infancy stage but I have big dreams for it.

Every day is a blessing with my triplets especially because they came prematurely at 34 weeks. Now if you have never seen a premature baby, you can be in for quite a shock! Tiny, scrawny hairy little things that are fighting for their dear life. I call them my fragile fighters. To watch them transform into young ladies with minds of their own, now going to school and expressing their needs and all, is a great joy!

To watch their brother protect them from harm while playing. To see each of them developing different personalities, riding their bikes, drawing, painting, wanting to bake with me…there are many memories every day.

Being a mother of multiples can be challenging and overwhelming.  Initially, I wanted to do everything for them. Being fragile and all, I was very protective of them. Then I got burn-out. I did not know it then. I just started snapping at my son, I was irritable at work (I resumed when they were 4 and a half months), I ignored my grooming and so on. No one wanted to say it out to me (I guess they feared offending me). Then one day I sought to talk to a counselor who was part of our medical cover by my then employer. After several sessions, she told me I was going through early depression!

When I was given that diagnosis, I was shocked and knew I had to get myself out of it I enrolled in a self-renewing program that helped me unravel so many things in my life. I learnt it is ok to say NO sometimes from selfish reasons. I learnt that I need to take care of ME first if I am to take care of my family. I learnt about who I am. I learnt to forgive the past hurts. I learnt to prioritize stuff in my life and to know whom to spend more time with as well as reconnect with God first above all else.

 I am lucky to have a husband who supports me and allows me the space to be me when I need to. So once in a while, I will have a girls’ night out. I also get to travel a lot with my job and this gives me time to reflect away from the “noise” at home. I ensure I am well groomed, I changed my hairstyle (I went back to being a natural), I changed my wardrobe (ok, for the most part) into clothes that will suit my body shape (part of the coaching involved learning to love yourself for who you are), I started jogging and many other things. All in all, I did things just for me and just because. This has translated into (hopefully) a well-rounded person who chooses to be happy despite what life dishes at her. It is not easy and there have been major shake-ups I have had but I choose to stay positive and trust in God.

Like most mothers, I strive to be the best I can be, but I am not “there” yet, but I know it’s important to take care of yourself first. It is true what they say, “if mummy ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”. Don’t try to be a super mom, delegate effectively and accept help where possible. Try to chart your own path. There are so many negative stories out there that can paralyze one into inaction. Above all else, seek the will of God in your life and that of your family. And finally, learn to laugh. I laugh a lot. At myself, at the things my kids do. I fill my life with humor. It helps to sieve the pain. So what if something didn’t go the way it was supposed to, learn from it. At least I tried. Learn to smell the roses… it’s the advice I can give mums out there”



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