Six bundles of joy for one family!
Three cousins from Mississippi, Melody Stubbs, Courtney Harper, and Janeshia Wilson all are expecting twins in October, WLBT-TV reports.
“I think Neshia [Janeshia] posted first, and I saw her post, and I posted mine about a week or two later,” Harper said. “She called me and said you’re pregnant, you’re having twins?!”
Shortly after that reveal, they found out that Stubbs was expecting twins too.
“And we found out we had the same doctor,” Stubbs said.
“It’s kinda mind-blowing,” Harper told reporters. “The first question that people ask is whether twins run in our family, but no one close to us has twins. We kinda just started a generation of twins out of nowhere.”
The similarities do not stop there for the three, as they are all having twins, but each is having rainbow babies – children born after losing an infant. They are symbolic of the beauty seen after a rainbow appears following a dark storm.
Unfortunately, Stubbs and her cousins are not alone in their loss. According to a 2021 study in The Lancet, Black people face a higher risk of miscarriage worldwide. Researchers in the United Kingdom analyzed data from 4.6 million pregnancies in seven countries, including the United States. They found that Black people are 43% more likely to experience a pregnancy loss than their peers.
“It’s something that hasn’t been highlighted before and something that we need to understand more about,” Siobhan Quenby, a professor of Obstetrics at the University of Warwick and co-author of the study, told CBSN. “All we can suggest is perhaps they have more of these risk factors. We also think that maybe there’s some social factors in certain societies.”
This past April, President Joseph Biden announced that the White House was taking steps to address the Black community’s infant and maternal mortality rates.
“In the United States of America, a person’s race should never determine their health outcomes, and pregnancy and childbirth should be safe for all,” Biden said in a statement. “However, for far too many Black women, safety and equity have been tragically denied.”
The U.S. continues to have the highest maternal mortality rates among historically privileged countries. This number is driven in large part by the high mortality rates among Black people. Regardless of their socioeconomic levels, Black people die from complications related to pregnancy at roughly two to three times the rate of others.
“We know the primary reasons why: systemic racial inequities and implicit bias,” Vice President Kamala Harris said during a session on Black mental health. “And the consequences are both very real.”
To help combat the systemic medical racism that may contribute to the negative outcomes, people like Serena Williams have invested in businesses looking to end maternal mortality. And recently, a Louisiana midwife opened the first Black-owned birth center in the state. She was fearful of giving birth in a hospital and opted to bring her children into the world at home. Now, she’s helping others do the same.
The cousins are optimistically cautious during this pregnancy. When the news broke for Stubbs, it initially brought up apprehension due to her previous loss.
“When I first got pregnant, I was scared,” Stubbs said.
Wilson also shared her emotional journey during this pregnancy.
“I have good days and bad days, emotionally; it’s a rollercoaster ride,” Wilson confessed.
Despite the challenges, the cousins agree the easiest part of expecting this time is having each other through it all. They even have a group chat where they share encouragement and resources. The cousins are leaning on one another for support.
“We talk about things we’re experiencing during pregnancy; we go to women’s health events together,” Wilson said. “We get together, have fun, take pictures, and just experience the journey together.”
Stubbs is expecting a girl and boy on October 3. She’s already picked out the names Legend and Truth.
Harper is also welcoming a girl and boy, Hendrix and Houstyn, on October 5.
And on October 11, Janeshia Wilson is expecting two boys, who will be named Karsen and Kasen.
According to the three, their children’s fathers are just as excited as they are.
“A lot of things go through our heads daily, like being a perfect mom, knowing that we’re not gonna be perfect, but the pro of it is that we get to experience this together,” Wilson said.
“I’m not afraid anymore because I’m not alone,” Stubbs smiled.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Harper added.
We wish them a safe pregnancy and delivery!
Photo Credit: WLBT