Welcome to Motherhood Voices – My Life and Journey as a Mom of Quadruplets
Our guest today is Hidayah Balogun-Durojaiye
Oneinspiredmum: Good day ma’am. We are so excited to have you here.
Guest: Thank you. I am glad to be here.
Oneinspiredmum: Firstly, we have some quick questions we will like to ask you. Here we go.
Quick fire questions
1. What book are you currently reading?
Guest: I am currently reading a book titled ‘The Monk who sold his Ferrari’ written by Robin Sharma
2. Who or what inspires you?
Guest: I am daily inspired by who I strive to be and what I hope to achieve in the near future.
3. What does motherhood mean to you?
Guest: Motherhood is a gift that you are blessed with by God and you will keep giving of that gift and you also never run out of love and strength.
Oneinspiredmum: Thank you Ma for taking out time to answer these quick questions. Once again, I am glad to have you here and I appreciate you for taking out time to share your story with us.
Over to our Main Questions.
1. Can you tell us who you are?
Guest: I am Hidayah Balogun-Durojaiye. I am a child nutrition consultant and a public health scientist. Most importantly I am a mom of a set of quadruplets. I also run a company called Quads Organics. We produce organic cereals for children aged 6-months to 5 years old.
( Sometimes, for confidential reasons, I take out my guest’s name if requested by her. My interviewees can choose to be seen or remain anonymous and I will surely respect that choice. If the guest agrees, her real image will be used, if not the blog author uses free images available.)
2. Can you share with us the background of your story?
Guest: I used to be that girl that longed for a large family. I grew up in a small family of mum, dad and three siblings. So I was always quick to say that I wanted to have 7 kids when I grow up.
Well, I got married and didn’t get pregnant till the 4th year of marriage. During my waiting period I got an MSc degree and started to sell corporate abayas (Muslim women dresses). Then I got pregnant and found out that I was carrying a set of quadruplets. God gave me one baby for every year that I waited.🙂
During the pregnancy, I couldn’t keep up with my business because I was on bed rest mostly. And sometimes I would be at the hospital for weeks. So I gave up on work and concentrated on the babies growing inside me. As God will have it, I gave birth to all four of them in 2016. Three boys and a girl.
3. What was your reaction when you first discovered that you were carrying quadruplets?
Guest: At first the ultrasound scan showed I was having a set of triplets so I thought they were 3 for a while. But I was always bleeding on and off, so I had to check often to see how the babies were doing.
Then one day during one of the scans, the fourth baby was noticed. The sonographer screamed with joy like he was family (LOL) and announced that I was carrying a set of quadruplets. And I just broke down and cried. All the staff and some patients around started consoling and advising me. You can trust Nigerians. (LOL)
4. What fears did you have before the birth of your children? How did you calm those fears?
Guest: I was very worried about survival rates of multiples in a country like Nigeria; because I suspected that they were going to be born premature. But I put my trust in God and prayed. My husband and the rest of my family were so supportive and they encouraged me throughout the entire journey.
5. What emotion came over you after meeting your babies for the first time?
Guest: I was in the theater ready for the surgery, and I was trying to put myself together and prepare for the arrival of my babies, when I heard the doctor say, ‘your baby will be out in a minute’. I turned to the anesthetist who was closest to me and said to him, that the doctor was only saying this so that I can relax, right?
The anesthetist said, No! Your first baby is out and you will hear him cry now. I was so confused at that moment. I was like , Am I even ready to meet them? What sort of mother will I be? All these thoughts were running through my head – and then I heard him cry.
One after the other they came out screaming. There was a lot of activity going on in the theater at that moment. Everyone was running around trying to take care of each baby and me. Finally, they brought them to me one after the other – and in that moment, I was just so grateful to God. It was the singular best moment of my life and words cannot express the overwhelming joy, relief, gratitude and pure love that I felt.
6. Share with us on how you were able to navigate those first three months of their lives.
Guest: The first week was at the hospital, where I was recuperating and they were in the neonatal ward. We got home a week after they were born and I had my mother in-law and my mum with me.
My husband also made sure that he was there as much as possible when he was not at work. We all tried to follow the doctor’s instructions as much as possible. No visitors, enough warmth, no mosquito bites, feed them every two hours. It was a lot of work, dedication and strict adherence to instructions given.
My Mother-in-law stayed for one month because she lived in another state. My mum who lives in the same state with me stayed with us for three months. I also used maids when my mother-in-law left and I changed them so often because they could not keep up with all my rules. I never compromised when it came to the children. I ended up using about twenty maids before the quads were 3-months old.
7. Who or what was your support system as you navigated this new role of mom of quads?
Guest: My family. They stood by me and were there for me.
8. Did you have those moments where you felt overwhelmed and helpless?
Guest: Yes, I had those moments. Sometimes I was physically drained and other times, I was both physically and mentally burned out. I remember times when I had to be alone with the children for one reason or another, and they all happened to need attention at the same time. I will strap one on my back, carry two in my arms and pray that one of them falls asleep, so that I can pick up the last one.
Also, breastfeeding for the first few months was very stressful. At some point I developed short-term memory loss due to the level of stress I was going through. I will wake up in the morning and cannot remember what happened hours before I fell asleep. It was really hard but God got us all through.
9. Share with us a special moment or memory with your quads.
Guest: There have been a lot of special moments. I do not know which of them to pick. I can remember vividly the first time I held them in the hospital. I think that is the most nostalgic feeling I have ever had. It has really been an amazing journey.
10. How do you and your husband find ‘alone’ time to be together?
Guest: We plan, cancel, reschedule, plan again and finally make the time for us. My husband and I were besties before we got married so we really miss ‘us’. But sometimes we make sure to find time to be ‘us’ again, even if it is for a few hours. I do most of the planning though. I am the crazy romantic one 🙂
11. How have you been able to navigate the early years? Tantrums, crying, fighting etc.
Guest: I communicate a lot with all four kids. I have been having proper conversations with my kids since they were about 1-year old. I listen to them attentively and try to understand them.
I also make sure to talk to them as much as possible too. Although there are times when they just have their melt downs and no amount of talking can help. Kids will always be kids
12. As a mom of quadruplets, will you say that each child is unique and different, even though they were all born on the same day?
Guest: Yes, I will say that each child is unique in every single way. They have different personalities, different likes and dislikes- the only thing I can say my kids show a lot of similarity is in their love for food 😉
13. What is it like being a mom of multiples? Routines, planning, resting, home-keeping and time management.
Guest: Sometimes I am all planned out and at other times, I am a total mess. But I make sure aspects like my kids meals and the family’s total well being is not compromised. In all I try to do my best.
14. What are your biggest challenges so far on this journey of mothering quadruplets?
Guest: Running a business and raising four children at the same time has been my biggest challenge. Most times I have to slow down on the business to create time for the kids.
In as much as I want to make an impact in this world, my children still remain my first priority. And by raising them right I am making a lasting impact in this world. So it is a win-win situation for me and I do not regret anything.
15. Can you share some useful tips and tricks that can be used when parenting twins, triplets and quadruplets?
Guest: I would say do not be tempted to compare each child with the other. Every child is unique and in the process of comparing as parents, you might end up suppressing the awesomeness in that child.
Create a safe play area for them, they are more than one already and they will definitely be each other’s friend. So create an environment where they can play with each other while you get time for yourself.
16. What has been your biggest lesson on this journey of parenting quadruplets?
Guest: I have learned that in any situation that I am in or find myself, I should endeavor to make the best out of it, and also remember to have so much fun while at it. Life might seem hard at some point, but tough times do not last forever. So work hard, pray hard and play hard.
17. In what ways do you advice that we show real and practical support to families who have twins, triplets, quadruplets or quintuplets.
Guest: 1. Take the kids off the parent’s hands sometimes. This will give them time to really get some rest.
2. Try not to give them unsolicited advice except you are an expert in the field of parenting.
18. Your final word to everyone.
Guest: My final word is to parents. The covid-19 pandemic has shown how important it is to build the immune system of our growing children. And this can be achieved by feeding them healthy and organic food, which is devoid of artificial ingredients and preservatives.
This is one of the major reasons why I have put together my experience as a mum and knowledge acquired over the years – to help mothers all over the world achieve optimal feeding for their young children, most especially in the early years. For more information, you can check her out on Facebook and Instagram.
Instagram: Quads Organics
Oneinspiredmum: Thank you ma for sharing your story with us. We appreciate you.
Guest: Thank you for having me.
Did you get a lesson or two from our guest’s story?
Or perhaps you are strengthened and encouraged by her story.
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section or feel free to reach out to us through the contact segment of the blog.
You can also reach out to us, if you feel that you have a story to share. We will be excited to share your story.
Love and light.