Nia and Robert Tolbert wanted to have a normal family like the next person. Everything looked like it was going according to plan until Nia had one miraculous pregnancy after the other – four pregnancies that baffled medical professionals and catapulted the Tolberts onto television! We look into how Nia’s pregnancies were so incredulous, defying even the couple’s expectations.
A Wonderful Beginning
It all started in 2007 when mutual friends introduced Nia and Robert to each other. Afterwards their chemistry only deepened as they went from dating to a committed relationship.
The affection between the two lovebirds matured like fine wine. Though they had their highs and lows like the next couple, this was a relationship that would endure the test of time. Many years in, something wonderful would happen to Nia and Robert.
Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd
Nia was pregnant for the first time – the couple from Waldorf, Maryland would be adding a new member to their family. This special event only cemented their commitment to the next step of their relationship – raising a family.
This pregnancy would go smooth as sailing, and in 2011 the couple would welcome their beautiful son Shai into the world. Unbeknownst to the fledgling household, this was only the start of many more wonderful additions to the Tolbert family (not that Shai knew anything at that point).
Wedding and Expecting
Even though they were pretty much a family, Nia and Robert decided to get married in 2014. In hindsight, it was probably a good time to do so, as they would be busy raising more and more children.
For Nia and Robert, tying the knot wouldn’t be the only piece of exciting news during that time. Another pregnancy would be announced and the Tolbert family prepared itself for another child, waiting in anticipation to find out whether it would be a boy or a girl. Little did they know there was much more to the picture.
More on the Way
Nia, Robert, and Shai would eagerly await news about their new family member. However, Nia’s fateful trip to the doctor’s office would reveal a surprising plot twist.
The Tolberts wouldn’t only be having one new kid, they would be having two! As for their genders, the identical twins would most likely be boys, giving Shai two baby brothers.
The Moment of Truth
In 2015, Nia gave birth to Riley and Alexander Tolbert. Nia and Robert agreed that a family of five was enough, especially with three boys in tow.
As expected, things were very chaotic in the Tolbert family as it tried to managed three rowdy boys with limitless amounts of energy. Thankfully, Nia and Robert kept it all together, lovingly syncing with each other in parenthood like they did the first day they met.
No More Kids
Though they managed to keep the house in order, the Tolbert parents agreed that having three children was enough, with no plans on growing the family any further.
Like a well-oiled machine, Nia and Robert would care for their dear sons as well as they could. At times, things got a bit tough, as they had to deal with not one but two new children within a short span of time. However, this would not be the end of the story for the Tolberts…
With an emphasis on the “kid”. Nia would find out in 2017 that she was unexpectedly pregnant again. Even though the Tolberts had decided not to have any more children, they believed that this was God’s plan for their family, and so welcomed the new child as a blessing.
This time, Nia and Robert were hoping for a baby girl. However, Shai, Riley, and Alexander felt that one more brother was better.
A Peculiar Feeling…
Though Nia was no stranger to being pregnant, there was something about this one that felt weird. This time she was physically and emotionally affected more than ever before, and it wasn’t because she was older.
She hoped and prayed that this strange sensation was because she was going to have a girl instead of a boy. Again, she would be surprised beyond her wildest expectations…
…That Couldn’t Be Explained
Nia felt very different from before – she felt her hormones going up and down, taking her through a high-speed rollercoaster of emotions. Moreover, she saw and felt her belly growing at a much faster rate than before, which would cause any expecting mother to worry.
This phenomenon was especially confusing, as Nia hadn’t been doing anything different. She was still doing yoga to stay healthy, as well as taking great care in what she was eating (especially with her neonatal vitamin supplements). Not quite understanding why she felt this way, she waited in anticipation for her sonogram.
Ultra-Nervous for the Ultrasound
Nia waited in suspense to see the results of her sonogram so she could finally discover why she had been feeling so weird during this recent pregnancy, a truth that had eluded her for the past few months.
According to her, “Robert and I have always joked about having a large family, but we did not plan to have any more pregnancies after the twins. But we were in for a surprise.” She would have her answer, and much, much more.
Since she believed this pregnancy was a blessing from God, Nia prayed that He would guide her through it, even with the new and strange experiences in her mind and body. Most of all, she hoped that there was nothing wrong with the new baby.
Or should we say, “babies”…later on, Nia would say “When we were expecting twins, our technician that was doing the ultrasound asked if multiples ran in our family. So this time around, the technician asked the same thing and I thought, ‘Oh, we must be having twins again.’”
Nia’s belief that she was again having twins would be verified by the ultrasound technician. While this was an unexpected shock to her, as it was rare to have multiple sets of twins, she accepted it was a wonderful present from the man above.
After coming back from a bathroom break, the technician told Nia that she wanted to do a second ultrasound to double-check the results. Maybe she saw something? In any case, Nia thought a confirmation of the results would be for the best.
Confirming the Confirmation
This time, the technician was more meticulous with the ultrasound, so as not to miss anything important. And a good thing the second ultrasound was done – Nia wasn’t having twins, she was having triplets! If you thought she was shocked to hear she was having two babies, imagine how she felt after finding out she was having three. In her own words, “everything kind of spiraled out of control.”
While she and Robert just managed to handle having Riley and Alexander, Nia knew that having three kids, in addition to the three she already had, was in another league altogether. Although she was initially doubtful that she and Robert would be able to raise a family of eight, she warmed to the idea over time.
Even Rarer Than Uncooked Steak
Luckily, Dr. Rami Tabbarah, the same doctor that had helped Nia deliver Riley and Alexander, was also going to help her deliver the triplets. Even more luckily, he said that it was “extremely rare” to have one baby and then two and then three – a medical miracle if he ever saw one!
According to Dr. Tabbarah, “We’re talking less than one in 1,000 [births]. That’s a very low chance for it happening to anyone in general.” He added, “It’s very rare to have to twins then triplets [naturally] in the same lifetime.”
Preparing for the Big Reveal
Although this was a shock, both Nia and Robert’s families have records of multiple births. As a result, she was more likely to have multiple-birth pregnancies, although her pregnancy history was very rare among her extended family even with these increased probabilities.
The chances of having multiple-birth pregnancies are increased by factors such as being overweight, tall, and African-American, or getting pregnant via fertility treatments as well as while breastfeeding. In spite of this, Robert was unaware of the big surprise Nia was about to reveal to him.
Gift-Wrapping the News
How would Nia break the shocking news to Robert? Since she was going on a weekend trip to Tampa, Florida, she decided to leave something that would send a clear message, something he would only find after she was gone.
Her goodbye gift included her long sonogram, which clearly showed the triplets. To hammer the point home, she also added three onesies and a note for her husband to “please accept this gift from her and God.”
Opening the Present
“I opened the bag and I saw a very, very long sonogram,” said Robert. “Then I saw three onesies in the bag … and they were numbered 1, 2, and 3.” As these clues finally registered in his head, the shock from the surprise caused Robert to faint.
According to Robert, “I was just shocked…I just went straight to bed.” Hundreds of miles away, Nia eagerly waited for her shocked spouse to call…little did she know that he was dealing with the news in his own way, and who could blame him?
Upon waking up, Robert finally accepted that he would be having three more kids. Finally calling Nia, he congratulated her, though not without doubts and fears of the daunting task of raising triplets in addition to the three sons he already had.
Later on, he fondly reminisced that he thought the gift his wife left him was a Fitbit, since he had been wanting one around that time. However, he got much more than a digital fitness watch.
Getting the Family Ready
As for Nia, “Once I arrived in Tampa later that day for a girls trip, I was finally able to get in touch with him and he shared that he was happy, but he’d ‘fainted!” After recovering from the big surprise that the Tolberts were having triplets, he went back to work to prepare the family’s finances for three more children.
According to Robert, he and his wife had “been making adjustments and space for our three little blessings arriving soon!” No easy feat, considering they were already raising three boys…imagine the amount of extra work and effort that is needed!
Boys or Girls?
Both Tolbert parents wanted to find out the genders of their triplets during a fun and exciting gender reveal party. They would pop balloons that were filled with colored confetti based on the gender of each triplet.
When the time came to pop the balloons, everyone waited with bated breath – the suspense was almost too much. Balloon number one – a girl. Balloon number two – a girl. And balloon number three – a girl!
Two Sons, Three Daughters
Both Nia and Robert were overjoyed to have three daughters, since they didn’t know if they could have handled raising five sons. Unfortunately, Shai, Riley, and Alexander weren’t as enthusiastic with this piece of news.
The Tolbert boys wanted to have more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and superhero toys around the house, and so were disappointed that they were having baby sisters. In the end, they warmed to the idea.
Watching and Waiting
In an interview with Us Weekly, Nia said that “We are both excited about this new experience of parenting girls. Rob is enthused about having his own entourage, as the boys stick to me like glue! I’m curious . . . How will it change the dynamic of our household?”
“Will it be like it is in the movies? Who’s going to comb all that hair? It’s going to be eventful, we know it. But we’re leaning on God and Pinterest until we find our flow!” she added.
Is it Time?
The new Tolbert triplets were expected to be due on February 9, but as with any pregnancy that date wasn’t set in stone. Indeed, Nia started having contractions a few weeks before that date. These contractions came and went, so she didn’t give them further thought. However, one fateful day….
…“[the contractions] were about five minutes apart and started getting closer, so I decided to call my mom,” Nia recollected. At that time, she believed she would be “going to go to the hospital and [that] they’ll probably send me home. It happens every pregnancy.”
Just a Hospital Visit?
During this “routine” visit to the hospital, Nia and Robert were surprised when one of the doctors told them “We’re going to have the babies today.” Nia, who was understandably shocked and panicked, asked for Dr. Tabbarah.
As Dr Tabbarah walked into the room, Nia’s water broke, in a touch of destiny. The medical staff got ready for this momentous procedure, and Nia and Robert prepared themselves for a long night, praying for a smooth delivery and healthy daughters.
The Moment of Truth (Again)
On January 30, 2018, the three Tolbert triplets came into the world via Caesarean section. Thankfully, the baby girls and mother were okay. When one of the doctors asked how she felt after giving birth, Nia could only say “finally alone.”
As she held her darling children for the first time, Nia beamed while saying “They’re so cute. Oh my gosh.” After a special pregnancy that lasted 34 weeks and five days, the three heaven-sent blessings were finally here.
Babies A, B, and C
Fortunately, the triplets were all in excellent health considering they were born early, weighing in between 4 to 4.6 pounds. Now that their daughters were born, Nia and Robert had to come up with names for their baby girls, two of which were identical twins, while the third was a fraternal twin.
The fraternal girl was named Mackenzie, while the identical twins were named Zuri and Bailey. With this recent pregnancy, Nia was famously known as the 1-2-3 mom, for the number of children for each of her successive pregnancies: one kid, two kids, three.
Life with the Triplets
How would the Tolberts be raising three new babies at once? Said Nia, “There is no real plan. We have no idea how it’s going to go.” The couple decided to handle things one step at a time, trusting God to bring them through this journey.
According to Robert, “God chose us…We didn’t know this would be our lives, but we’re embracing it wholeheartedly, and we’re going to do the necessary things to make sure our kids are equally loved.” So how did the family make everything work out?
It Takes a Village (Actually, Three)
Not without the help of their family, friends, and neighbors, that’s for sure. Without the much-needed support, Nia and Robert say that they wouldn’t have been able to raise five kids on their own.
“But we’re not too concerned,” Nia said. “I know we’re not going to sleep for a couple years, our grocery bill is going to go up, and our house is not going to be quiet and that’s OK.” Definitely not cheaper by the (half) dozen.
In addition to their real-life community, Nia and Robert sought the assistance of an online support network, starting a crowdfunding campaign on Fundly to raise money for a new car.
Considering that they now have eight members in their family, it’s perfectly reasonable to buy a bigger car that fits everyone. Despite these challenges, the Tolberts are optimistic and hopeful that things can only get better for them.
Would the Tolberts decide to have more children? Many are probably thinking that Nia may become the 1-2-3-4 mom, given her current record and family history of multiple-birth pregnancies. That’ll be one for the history books, no?
Leave those thoughts for the philosophers – Nia’s response to being asked if she wanted more kids was “Absolutely not. I am confident we are not having any more children.” In this age of online sharing and social media, Nia and Robert have found creative ways to let people know how their wonderful kids are doing.
Fundly for the Family
The Fundly page for the family is called Totally Tolbert, which was a branded nickname Nia and Robert created by themselves, complete with merchandise. The parents have also added a summary of their relationship and why they decided to start a crowdfunding campaign. With a goal of $40,000 to purchase a car to seat the gang of eight, they have managed to raise $940 so far.
We’re sure that rearing six children is no walk in the park, and no family needs the extra finances more than the Tolberts. In the meantime, Nia is spending time investing in various ventures to stay active and provide for the family.
Any mother can relate to the weight gain and physical toll a pregnancy can take, let alone three for Nia. However, she’s resolved to stay fit and healthy by becoming a private yoga instructor and wellness coach, even releasing MOTHERLOVINGYOGA™ in May 2017.
Her brand aims to invigorate and empower men and women through the practice of yoga. Nia hopes that people of all ages and from all walks of life can be empowered. But this is not the only thing she has on her plate.
Sharing Life’s Experiences
In addition to using MOTHERLOVINGYOGA™ to encourage a fit and healthy lifestyle via exercise, yoga, and meditation, Nia candidly shares her personal thoughts and experiences on pregnancy and giving birth, motherhood, and everything in between.
She’s not afraid to talk about the good and bad. In a Facebook post, she writes that she is happy and blessed to have all of her dear kids, but also acknowledges the challenges associated with bringing up six young children. For her, “Everyday has its stream of ‘wtf, leave mommy alone,’ ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ ‘why would you do that?!’ and a few shed tears. But I seem to keep making it to the next day and through the next adventure.”
When she’s not working on MOTHERLOVINGYOGA™ and spending time with her family, Nia also works as a wellness and empowerment coach for people around the world at Herbalife Nutrition, a company that produces nutrition products for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
As a health-oriented person, Nia supports the international company as a spokeswoman because of the healthy and active lifestyle it espouses. Moreover, Herbalife’s products, which include vitamins, shakes, and supplements, are carefully developed by top physicians and scientists to help maintain and facilitate personal health and wellbeing.
As we mentioned earlier, Nia and Robert created the Totally Tolbert™ brand that has its own Facebook and Instagram page. Here, the family shares its daily goings-on with the rest of the world, which is followed by much of the public.
Due to the high demand for updates on their family, Nia and Robert faithfully deliver heart-warming pictures, videos, and posts on their children. You too can see what’s happening with Nia, aka the “1-2-3 Mom,” and the rest of the family, which she affectionately calls “our Kru.”
Bros and Bows
The family has been quite creative with its branding, coming up with the an Instagram account caption: “We are the Totally Tolbert™ Kru 3 Bros 3 Bows SINGLE (boy) ~TWIN (boys) ~TRIPLET (girls) Follow Our Adventures!!” The Tolberts have also listed an email address that welcomes recommendations, encouragements, and special requests.
Interested social media users can look at cute pictures and videos of Shai, twins Riley and Alexander, and triplets Mackenzie, Zuri, and Bailey. We have to admit, the Tolberts have a knack for recording those precious and fleeting moments, which shows how much unashamed love and attention Nia and Robert have for each of their children.
Celebrating the Big and Little Things in Life
When the triplets were eight weeks old, Nia celebrated this occasion by posting a picture of three pairs of black- and white-striped moccasins with pink collars which was captioned: “The cuteness strikes again. Happy 8 weeks Baby Dolls.”
With a relatively large number of over 4,000 followers, each post garners many likes and comments such as “When can I virtually babysit?” and “They are so adorable! Love the little shoes.”
Don’t Forget the Sons
Before Mackenzie, Zuri, and Bailey, the Tolbert boys liked to hang out with Nia, like good boys that care for their mothers. Now that the mom is busy taking care of three baby daughters, Robert has taken the boys under his wing, so that Shai, Riley, and Alexander are up to no good under the watchful eye of Papa Tolbert.
The four guys still pull their weight by helping Nia take care of the girls; in one post, she writes “The Tolbert boys!!!!!! One half of the crew taking a break from the girls!! Xander with the mischief, Riley with the attitude, Shai with the cuteness, and Rob with the Dad Swag.”
Capturing the Special Moments
With so many kids and so little time, they can grow up so fast. That’s probably what Nia is thinking when she takes pictures of the triplets every few weeks. The photos below were taken when the girls were about 12 weeks old (warning: cuteness overload!), all decked out with onesies that say “I’m adorable; Mom’s beautiful; Daddy did good.”
These photos are a big hit with the Tolbert followers, bringing in heaps of uplifting and encouraging comments. You can see how the kids are growing up so fast and how closely they resemble Mom and Dad. One Facebook follower noted that the girls looks more like Robert while the boys look more like Nia.
One Big Happy Family
Though they aren’t certain what the future has in store for them, the Tolberts know that right now they are incredibly blessed for each one of their kids and the opportunity to go through life with them. We’re sure the kids will say the same about their parents.
While other families may have panicked at having to raise six kids (not to mention the multiple-birth pregnancies), Nia and Robert have been pretty good at going with the flow. Seeing these births as miracles from God, their attitude keeps them joyful and appreciative of each member of their family even in the face of life’s challenges. We wish them all the best!