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3 times the joy

Sherie Holder-Olutayo

3 times the joy

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ASHADA DEANE knows that your life can change dramatically in a short time. For proof of that she just glances down to her three baby daughters Takiyah, Safiyah and Jamiyah.
The identical triplets who were born three months ago have made her a mother of four. Rashada has a five-year-old son who is simply ecstatic about his role as a big brother.
“I found out I was having triplets when I was three months along,” she said. “When the doctor told me,  I thought I was going to pass out. I was feeling all kinds of mixed feelings,  I wasn’t all that happy or sad at all but  I was surprised.
The news shouldn’t have come as a surprise because Rashada has a history of twins and triplets on her side of the family and on the father’s side – he has twins; it still came as a shock. Mentally she thought she was carrying one baby.
“It was an easy pregnancy, although I had pains at 28 weeks,” she said. “They admitted me to the hospital and that’s where I stayed until I was 34 weeks.”
Fast forward to the present. Rashada, who is surrounded by the baby’s father and her mother, is still trying to get the girls down to a normal routine. Though she admits that she can tell them apart, she said that Safiyah makes it easy because of the birthmark  on her stomach.
“In terms of feeding, they take turns,” she said. “Sometimes two will be up and one will be sleeping. Sometimes all three are up at the same time. And they don’t sleep through the night at all. The most sleep I get is two hours. But I’ve tried to get accustomed now.”
Rashada admits that she is getting to know their personalities.
“Takiyah, the last one, she is quiet; just when you feed her, she will lay there and be quiet,” she said. “Safiyah now, the second one, she is more of an instigator. When she cries, everyone cries and then she goes back to sleep and leaves everybody else crying. Jamiyah now, she can’t do without her soother.”
With Christmas around the corner, Rashada admits that this year it will be extra special with the girls around. She and her partner Cedric “Mickey” Jones are both getting used to their larger family.
“I try to give daddy a break because these are his first children and he’s just getting used to the daddy thing,” she said. “On nights he gets up sometimes.”
Cedric is experiencing all the excitement of a new father.
“Sometimes when they’re sleeping I’ll just watch them,” he said. “But I want them to get up because I can’t wait to pick them up and play with them. I call them my angels.”
Only a parent can tell identical children apart and for Rashada it’s the same. Though she tries not to play favourites, she does have one.
“When I see Takiyah, she reminds me so much of my son,” she said.
One thing Rashada is grateful for  is the family support, especially that of her mother.
“As soon as they invade my place I go to sleep,” she said.
Rashada’s mother already takes the triplets to church with her and boasts that they already have their individual aunties there who always take care  of them.
While Rashada said she cannot imagine life without them, financially it has been a drastic change.
“They go through one can of milk a day, so financially it’s kind of tough,” she said. “Well the Pampers that depends on how they feed, but they’re not that bad. The wipes are in and out, but it depends on who cleans them. When I clean them I know how to balance with the wipes, anybody else they waste them.
Luckily for Rashada, Bryden Stokes presented her with a hamper for the holidays complete with Pampers and many of the things that she and the girls will need.
Rashada has adapted to the fact that for the next couple of years, she’ll be surviving on very little sleep.
“Sometimes it can be frustrating knowing that one or two days I’m here by myself and everyone is crying and I can’t deal with everybody at the same time. But once they get their milk and they’re settled they are good.”