A mother of seven who has had three sets of twins gave birth to five babies within the span of four years and says she wouldn’t have her family any other way.
Meredith Maitland, 40, from San Francisco, California, had seven kids from just four pregnancies after giving birth to three sets of twins and a single child.
Upon discovering that she was pregnant with twins at the age of 19, Meredith said she thought she had cashed in her twin card and never expected that she would have another set of twins, let alone two more sets.
“So I had my first set of twin girls, Gabriella and Julia, now 21, and then after me and my husband, Brady, got married we decided to try for another baby,” Meredith said. “After falling pregnant, I never dreamt that I would be pregnant with my second set of twins.”
Meredith was completely unaware that one could have one more set of twins after delivering one set.
“I thought that once you’d had a set of twins, that was it and you’d just have single babies … But I was very wrong,” she said.
After giving birth to the first set of twin girls, the couple were shocked to learn that they were expecting another set of twin girls. The then-parents of two welcomed Elsa and Lucia into their family in July 2008.
After having four girls, Meredith and Brady desperately wanted to have a boy in their family, as they wanted to experience being parents to the opposite gender.
Meredith and her husband decided to try for another baby in the hopes it would be a boy.
“I fell pregnant to a single baby which wasn’t a shock because I definitely didn’t think I would have another set of twins,” Meredith said. “I gave birth to my fifth daughter, Cambia, now 10, in August 2010.”
However, Meredith recalls that giving birth to a single baby was easier than caring for twins at the same time. Cambia was such an easy child that she lured her parents to try again for a baby boy.
After having Cambia the parents took it for granted that they would have a single baby and thus Meredith went for her scan all by herself.
At the scan, Meredith recalled seeing two embryos appearing on the screen and the feeling of shock running through her body.
“I was like oh no. My first thought was about having to do another two college educations at the same time again,” Meredith said. “For the third time.”
During her pregnancy, people around her joked about having twins again, but in actuality, the couple were expecting twins.
“It got quite annoying because people would always say about my hand being full, which seemed kind of negative, so I would just respond by saying that my heart was fuller,” Meredith said.
On December 2o12, Meredith gave birth to her third set of twins, Thane and Vera.
This was Meredith’s first set of boy and girl twins and she says she was so happy to finally welcome a baby boy in her family.
“I’d never planned to have such a big family,” Meredith said. “Having five kids in the space of four years was really hard, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Despite being such a big family consisting of nine members, Meredith said: “It’s super fun. It’s like having a big slumber party every night,” adding there is “a whole lot of love.”
While shopping for food, Meredith and Brady are often asked by strangers if they own a restaurant because of the amount of food they have to buy to feed their family.
Additionally, when the whole family goes out for a trip, Meredith does a roll call so that each child calls out their number to make sure that she doesn’t lose anyone.
As to laundry for such a big family, Meredith says she has assigned Thursday as laundry day to make sure everyone’s clothes are washed.
“I usually do around 10 to 12 loads of washing every Thursday,” Meredith said. “It’s craziness but I love it.”
Needless to say, having such a big family did have it’s own challenges, Meredith says, such as managing time when they were younger and not having the time to finish college until the age of 38 because of caring for her babies. She also suffered from postpartum depression after her first and fourth pregnancies, but with medical help and running, she was able to pull herself out of depression.
Despite all the hurdles, Meredith is grateful to be a mother to three sets of twins as it means she can have a big family without going through so many pregnancies.
“I really couldn’t imagine any of the twins without their other twin. There’s something about them that means they were meant to be born together,” Meredith said. “The same way I could never imagine Cambia with a twin.”
Currently, the mother of seven runs 40–50 miles a week to help with her mental and physical well-being and to keep up with her active family.
Epoch Times Staff contributed to this report.