Avril Flynn, Motherboard podcast presenter, mum-of-one and midwife, talks about her experience meeting the inspiring Brigid O’Hora, mother of triplets.
I've often heard the phrase "never meet your heroes". Personally, it's advice I've never taken and would actively discourage. We only learn by talking and listening to amazing people.
Brigid O' Hora is one of my heroes. In talking to her in this podcast, "Multiple Pregnancies" I only admire her even more. She is very smart, funny, beautiful, kind and incredibly self-deprecating. She has a very busy job, got a Master's degree last year, and, by the way….is a mother of naturally conceived triplets!
I make no secret of the fact that, even as a Midwife and a person who adores babies and kids, I have found my metamorphosis into motherhood really tough. It's really important for me to be really honest about that. In being honest about it, I have gotten to admire and meet some great parents.
On the Motherboard podcast, I'm able to go a step further and talk to them about how they have navigated the very tricky, messy but beautiful life that is parenthood. At times when I've struggled, I have said to myself "well, at least he (my gorgeous son Felix) isn't twins! Imagine if he was Triplets!
Brigid has two boys, identical twins and a little girl. She met and fell in love, got pregnant and went in for her scan to discover not one, not two but three little humans were on the way. What is so refreshing is her honesty about how wonderful but also how tough her journey was. Her love for her kids is evident in everything she says and does.
In Ireland, the rate of multiple pregnancies has increased hugely in the last 15 years. Why is this? The main factors are that we are waiting longer to have our children, so the average age of the mother has greatly increased, and also more people are accessing fertility treatments. Both of these individually contribute to the dramatic rise in the numbers of pregnancies. Figures from the CSO (Central Statistics Office) reveal that between 2004 and 2013 there was a 36% increase in numbers!
Twins are still by far the most common of multiple pregnancies. So, Brigid's pregnancy of having naturally conceived triplets is still a rarity. As we discuss in the podcast, multiple pregnancies present very particular challenges to both Mum and babies. With triplet pregnancies in particular, it's putting the mum's body under a lot of strain - you are one person growing three little people inside. Not only does the sheer size cause issues, but more than likely, the babies will need to be born early and as with Brigid's babies, have a stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Despite all of these peaks and troughs, Brigid and her partner Gideon maintained a great sense of humor through out and have proudly documented their journey on the wonderful Instagram account @Brideybunch_triplets. Beatrice, William and Jude are a credit to both their parents and if there is one account you follow today, make sure it's' that one. It will do your heart good!
For more information and support on multiple pregnancies' see the Irish Multiple Births Association website, a wonderful association run by and for parents. They do everything from providing antenatal classes specifically for parents having multiples to family meets ups once the kids arrive.
Motherboard is a podcast created by mothers for mothers. Listen to previous Motherboard podcasts & subscribe now.