Canada:Zimbabwe-born lesbian and her wife give birth to triplets

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Zimbabwe-born Tarie and partner Ebonee Hicks welcomed three children into the world last Friday.

That makes them the first black lesbian couple to have triplets in Newfoundland and Labrador, and possibly all of Canada.Mothers

The Hicks triplets were born in St. John’s at 30 weeks and six days — early even for triplets, who generally have a 36-week gestation period.

Tarie, a full-time student at the Centre for Nursing Studies, said they’re all doing well in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).13906848_684767281674865_1987914227908058145_n

“They’re doing pretty good, but the smallest of the bunch, who was born 2.7 pounds, is actually the one that’s doing the best. She’s off her CPAP (breathing device), so she’s breathing on her own and is getting her nutrition,” she said.

“The other two have been weaned off oxygen, so they’re just on CPAPs to help them a little bit, but other than that, there’s no other concerns that the doctors can see.”

Amina Nyasha was the first to arrive at 2:06 a.m., weighing 2.7 pounds. Lila Maita was born three minutes later, weighing 2.9 pounds, followed by Nolan Rufaro, weighing 3.5 pounds, a minute later.

The mothers, who have two older sons aged 13 and nine, did some research when naming the babies, rather than naming them after people.

“We wanted names that mean something. So we just researched in that way. … Amina means ‘faith,’ Lila means ‘beauty’ and Nolan means ‘champion,’” Tarie said.13418692_665089490309311_3500613288593971282_n

“The other middle names are Shona, because I’m from Zimbabwe and my wife is from the States, so we decided to make the middle names from my country. So Amina, her middle name, Nyasha, is ‘grace.’

“We wanted something that says grace, but we didn’t want plain old Grace (laughs). For Lila, Maita means ‘grateful’ or ‘thankful,’ and then for Nolan, his middle name, Rufaro, is ‘happiness.’”

Tarie remembers finding out on Feb. 18 that she and her wife would be having triplets. She said two eggs were fertilized, and one split, meaning they have one set of identical twins and one singleton — a rare pregnancy.

“I was ecstatic,” she said, laughing, “but Ebonee was freaked out, to say the least. She was very, very, very upset.”

Tarie said the pregnancy was great. Ebonee was active and healthy until she was put on bed rest at 24 weeks, and she went on medical leave at 26 weeks.

“I had stop working at the same time, because my private client I was taking (care of) passed away. But Ebonee being on medical leave, complete bed rest, made it impossible anyway for me to work, as we have two sons that needed a parent’s care,” Tarie wrote.

Sunday afternoon, Tarie said Ebonee, who had a C-section birth, was recovering well.

“She just got discharged today, so we’re just hanging out at the NICU, and because both of us are breastfeeding, that’s it. We’re just hanging out and pumping milk. That’s the joys of our days these days,” she said, laughing.

“We knew it was going to be a lot from the word ‘go,’ so our doctors that we’ve been working with, they had me on two different medications — one was to kind of fool my body into thinking that I’m pregnant, and then the other one was for the hormones to initiate lactation.”

The Hicks family expects the triplets to be in NICU for another month or so before joining them at home. In the meantime, the couple invites people to follow them on their Facebook page, The Hicks HIVE, where they post updates on the family. They say support from the community is greatly appreciated.-Zimnewsnow

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