Raleigh Woman Knows Joy, Challenge of Raising Multiple Multiples
Posted July 6, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — One new baby is a lot to deal with. Two or more would be overwhelming! One Triangle family overcame astonishing odds with two multiple births. It all adds up to a lot of kids, but also a lot of love.
Meet the twins: Seven-year-old Jasmine and Jermaine, and the triplets, five-year-old Jewel, Joel and Jamal. Cheville Bullock already had the twins and an older son, when she learned she was expecting triplets.
"Oh my God! Who is gonna do this? Am I going crazy?" Bullock reacted. "Just take me to Dorothea Dix. It's right up the street, you know."
A few years ago Bullock was caring for two toddlers and three infants all at once. This single mom changed 75 diapers every day.
"It's kind of hard to get a babysitter because most people say five children? No, I can't deal with that," says Bullock.
Bullock does deal with it-- all day, every day. Mom and the kids love the reaction they get when they go out. She laughs about it now, but it was tough at first. The triplets were born at just 24 weeks, weighing just a pound each, with lungs that weren't fully developed. They still have some respiratory problems.
Life is a little easier now that the kids are in school. You might think that would be a relief for some weary moms. Not this one.
"I turned the TV on, I had a radio on, so I could have noise," Bullock admits. It can be overwhelming. She says it's important for parents of multiples to have a support system of family, friends or neighbors.
Bullock says the Millers, the Wake Forest Couple who are now parents to quintuplets, will need all the help they can get.
In fact, a new support group has just been formed to help families like them. It's called "Triplets and More of the Triangle." The number is919-852-0098.
Although multiple births of triplets or more are rare, they are becoming more common. Between 1980 and 1994, the incidents of triplet births tripled.