I gave birth via cesarean on January 13, 2020. My babies were born two months before their due date looking so frail and wrinkly. Nova, born first, weighed 3lbs 8oz, followed by Trinity who weighed 2lbs 14ozs, and Tristin who weighed only 2lbs and 3ozs.
My babies were small but mighty.
They stayed in the NICU for 37 days, 40 days, and 47 days. All of them came home weighing less than five pounds. Too small for some infant car seats, we had to get one specifically made for infants who weighed at least four pounds.
Thankfully, Covid-19 did not impact their birth, my recovery, or their time in the NICU. However, when Tristin came home in March, the pandemic started to drastically hit the United States. During that period of time, I had no idea how the pandemic was going to disturb our lives.
Having triplets during a pandemic has been lonely. My babies are nine months old and have never been inside of a store or any indoor places with large amounts of people. Support from family and friends has been limited, but we do receive occasional visits and phone calls from people. As a working first-time mama to multiples, I wish I had more support from family and friends. A village is really needed to help alleviate stress and to provide the support I would really like to have.
Being a Black Mom in 2020
In addition to the pandemic, the racial unrest in the United States has been added stress.
As a black mama to black babies, it frightens me to know they will likely experience racial bias and discrimination as they grow up. With the mass protesting over George Floyd’s death, the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery (an unarmed black man who was fatally shot while jogging), and the excessive force used by police towards Jacob Blake that left him paralyzed from the waist down, it has been mentally and emotionally exhausting. I often ask myself, how do I bring up happy children in a world that won’t always treat them fairly because of the color of their skin? It’s a troubling question I believe most would agree a mother should never have to ask herself.
To say I am tired is an understatement, but as a first-time mama with triplets, I must overcome adversities and shower my babies with the love they so desire and deserve.
“A mother’s love is something that no one can explain. It is made of deep devotion, sacrifice, and pain. It is endless, unselfish, and enduring come what may. For nothing can destroy it or take that love away.” – Helen Steiner Rice
2020 has been a hard year for many. As a mama, how have you been able to stay positive?
Jaleesa grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, and moved to Des Moines in 2013. She lives in Ankeny with her sweetheart, Philip. Together they have 9-month-old triplets (2 girls and 1 boy). Jaleesa works full-time as a technical writer and is a graduate of Iowa State University (Bachelor’s degree in technical communication) and Drake University (Master’s degree in Leadership Development). In her free time, she enjoys family walks, reading a good book, and uploading pictures and videos of her babies on Instagram. You can follow them at amissah_triplets.