Nia and Robert Tolbert were the epitome of a happy couple. They were also the proud parents of a little boy, too, but there was something quite unusual about this family that drew worldwide attention. Although Nia’s first pregnancy was nothing extraordinary, her second and third pregnancies were truly unbelievable. How exactly? Well, let’s just say they were so unusual that it caused her husband to faint when doctors told him what was going on.
Mutual Friends Introduced Them
Nia and Robert Tolbert met in 2007 when mutual friends introduced them. They fell in love almost immediately and started dating right away. And while they encountered a few hiccups along the way, they were exclusively committed to making it work.
But they had no idea what life was about to throw at them. In fact, life was about to get a little more complicated than they could’ve imagined.
Nia Got Pregnant
A few years into their relationship, the adorable couple from Waldorf, Maryland, discovered that they were expecting their first baby. And in 2011, she gave birth to a little boy named Shai. This was a very important step in their relationship, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last time they’d go through pregnancy.
They Got Hitched
In 2014, the Tolberts made it official and finally got hitched. Together, Nia, Robert and Shai became the epitome of the perfect family. But soon she learned she was once again pregnant and neither of them was prepared for what was coming.
Was It a Boy or a Girl?
The Tolbert family was elated by the second pregnancy, and everyone wanted to know the gender of the new baby. But when she went to the doctor’s office to get a sonogram, the couple discovered that they weren’t having one but rather two baby boys!
The Twins Arrived
In 2015, Tolbert gave birth to Riley and Alexander, which turned their household into a family of five. But were they open to having more kids? They talked it over and decided that three boys was challenging enough. The Tolberts had a full house.
But they didn’t know the meaning of the word challenging… not yet anyways.
They Had a Full House
The Tolberts decided that they were done having kids. However, life never goes as you’d expect. But for the time being, all they had to worry about was raising three kids.
And yet, something new and unexpected was about to turn their lives upside down.
She Was Pregnant Again
In 2017, Nia learned that she was pregnant again, but this pregnancy wasn’t planned. However, the couple didn’t question what fate had thrown their way and instead started planning for the arrival of yet another baby. But while the little boys wanted another brother, the parents kept their fingers crossed for a little girl.
And yet, neither side got what they wanted.
This Pregnancy Was Different
Nia could feel that something about this pregnancy was different. She thought that she may have been feeling this way because she was having a girl. But that was wishful thinking.
It turns out that this wasn’t the reason, at least not entirely.
Her Hormones Were Off the Scale
Nia’s hormones were on the fritz which made her even more emotional than during her previous pregnancies. Her stomach had also grown larger and faster than the last two times and yet, she was taking neonatal vitamins, eating right, and doing yoga just like before. So, she went in for her first sonogram, and that’s when everything became quite clear.
The Sonogram Was Life Changing
Nia was excited but a bit hesitant about getting her first sonogram. “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 said.
But what the sonogram revealed was more than she could handle.
The Sonogram Left Her Speechless
Nia didn’t care what the baby’s gender was. She just wanted it to be healthy. “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,’” she explained, but she was wrong.
She Got a Double Surprise
The technician told Nia that she was pregnant with twins, which left her stunned, but she later managed to get it together and realized this was great news. Then, she went to the restroom. But when she came back, the technician told her she wanted to do another sonogram to be sure, and she agreed.
As it turns out, the technician had made a mistake.
The Second Sonogram Was Clearer
The technician was more thorough the second time around, and it revealed that Nia was not pregnant with twins. She was having triplets, which was uncharted territory for her. She wondered how on Earth she was going to break the news to her husband.
Would he be able to handle the news?
It Was an Extremely Rare Pregnancy
Dr. Rami Tabbarah, who had previously delivered Nia’s twins, told her she was basically a pregnancy miracle. “We’re talking less than one in 1,000 [births].
That’s a very low chance for it happening to anyone in general,” Dr. Tabbarah told news reporters. “It’s very rare to have to twins then triplets [naturally] in the same lifetime.” But Nia didn’t think it was rare at all.
The Tolberts Have a History of Multiple Births
Both sides of the couple’s family have a history of multiple births, which meant that the odds of Nia giving birth to twins or triplets weren’t so far fetched. One of the other factors common in multiple-birth pregnancies include being taller than normal, being African-American, being overweight, getting pregnant while breastfeeding, or getting pregnant through fertility treatments. But now Nia had to figure out how to let her husband in on the news.
She Gave Him a Goodbye Present
She thought of a clever way to tell her husband. She was going to go on a weekend trip to Tampa, Florida, so, she decided to give him a goodbye present. The gift contained a sonogram and a note that read: “please accept this gift from her and God.” But would he see it that way?
The Gift Devastated Him
“I opened the bag and I saw a very, very long sonogram,” Tolbert’s husband stated. “Then I saw three onesies in the bag … and they were numbered 1, 2, and 3.” Once he realized what the gift meant, he fainted, well sort of. “I was just shocked,” he said.
“I just went straight to bed.” Meanwhile, she wondered why she hadn’t heard from him. Was he upset?
She Finally Got A Piece of His Mind
By the time he regained consciousness, the reality of the news had set in. And although he felt anxious about the triplets, he called his wife to congratulate her. He later admitted that he thought she had bought him a Fitbit which he had been hinting at for a while.
Instead, he learned they were having three more kids. But would they be ready in time?
They Had a Lot of Work to Do
“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!” she recalled. But after recovering from the shock, he and his wife got to work right away on adjusting the house to accommodate their three new arrivals. But were they having boys or girls?
They Threw a Gender Reveal Party
The couple threw a gender reveal party where they got to pop balloons and learn the gender of the triplets from the color of the confetti. When the time came, the first balloon was popped and it was a girl. Then the second balloon was popped, and it was another girl.
By the time the third balloon was popped, the Tolberts had learnt the triplets were all girls!
Not Everyone Was Thrilled
The couple was excited about having three girls, but the boys weren’t. They wanted another boy they could play Ninja Turtles with, but eventually, they came around to loving the idea of having sisters.
The Triplets Would Change the Home Dynamic
“We are both excited about this new experience of parenting girls,” Nia told US magazine. “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!” But the Tolberts were certain that everything was going to be okay.
No One Knew What to Expect
The Tolberts had no idea what to expect. At one point, Nia had early contractions that ended up being false alarms. Then… “They were about five minutes apart and started getting closer, so I decided to call my mom,” she explained.
Her mother told her that she should go to the hospital, which she did.
They Rushed to the Hospital
When the Tolberts got to the hospital, the doctors told them, “We’re going to have the babies today.” Shortly after, Nia’s water broke, and everyone prepared for the long night and hoped that both the triplets and their mom would be okay.
She Underwent a C-Section
On January 30, 2018, doctors performed a cesarean section on Tolbert. “They’re so cute. Oh my gosh,” she said when she held her daughters in her arms.
Thankfully, they were all in perfect health.
Only Two of Them Were Identical
The triplets weighed between 4 and 4.6 pounds, but only two of them were identical. The third baby was a fraternal twin. The Tolberts named the fraternal one Mackenzie and the identical twins Zuri and Bailey.
Shortly after the birth, Nia was known as the 1-2-3 mom for the number of babies she had with each pregnancy. But did she have a parenting plan? How where they going to support so many babies?
They Were Taking It One Day at a Time
“There is no real plan. We have no idea how it’s going to go,” the happy mother explained. “God chose us,” her husband added.
“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 couple make it work?
They Had a Lot of Help
The Tolberts received a lot of help from their family, friends, and even neighbors. “But we’re not too concerned,” she explained. “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,” she added.
But even though they had the right attitude, they still needed financial help.
They Needed a Bigger Car
The Tolberts set up a crowdfunding campaign on Fundly to raise money to buy a new car that would fit all eight of them. But would the couple ever consider having more children?
Will They Have More Children?
The Tolberts had already broken a multiple birth record, so people wondered if they’d be open to having more kids. “Absolutely not. I am confident we are not having any more children,” the 1-2-3 mom said.
But they came up with a cool way to keep netizens in the loop about their beautiful kids.
They Need More Money
Their Fundly page called “Totally Tolbert” provides a narrative for the couple’s love story and also gives people the chance to donate money so the family can buy their car. So far, they’ve raised $12,345 of their $25,000 goal. The 1-2-3 mom is also involved in other business ventures, too.
She’s a Mother Loving Yoga Instructor
Nia is working as a private wellness coach and yoga instructor. In May 2017, she launched a brand that promotes yoga on and off the mat for all ages regardless of gender called Mother Loving Yoga™. But that’s not the only social media page she’s heavily involved in.
She Vented About Motherhood on Facebook
Nia has also posted on Facebook about how happy her kids make her but also how challenging it is to raise six kids. “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.” And although her time is limited, she’s always adding more to her plate.
She’s the Herbal Queen
Tolbert is also an empowerment coach for Herbalife Nutrition, a company that provides nutrition products like vitamins, shakes and supplements. But she needed another way to keep her followers in the loop on everything they experienced along the way.
They’ve Gone Totally Tolbert ™
The Tolberts have set up a Facebook and Instagram paged called Totally Tolbert ™ to share their personal experiences about raising such a large family with the rest of the world. And this was the cute way they introduced their family, or as she likes to call them, “our Kru.”
Instagram Welcomed the Family
The Tolberts introduced their family’s Instagram account using the caption: “We are the Totally Tolbert™ Kru 3 Bros 3 Bows SINGLE (boy) ~TWIN (boys) ~TRIPLET (girls) Follow Our Adventures!!” Now, anyone can get daily updates on Shai, twins Riley and Alexander, and triplets Mackenzie, Zuri, and Bailey. They also share adorable videos and photos as well as the kids’ milestones.
The Triplets Broke the Internet
When the triplets turned eight weeks old, Nia added a photo of the three wearing pink moccasins with black and white stripes. On the caption she wrote: “The cuteness strikes again. Happy 8 weeks Baby Dolls.” The Instagram page has 31,000 followers and tons of likes and comments such as: “When can I virtually babysit?” and “They are so adorable! Love the little shoes.”
The Tolbert Boys Are a Tight-Knit Group
Everyone is obsessed with the beautiful triplets. But, the boys are enjoying some alone time with their dad. In fact, Nia posted a photo of the four men in her life and captioned: “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.”
They’re the Perfect Family
While most couples might have panicked at the mere thought of having six kids, the Tolberts went with the flow. And it’s obvious that it’s that positive, easy-going attitude that’s allowed them to come together, tackle the challenges that came ahead and embrace their happiness.