MEET ONE OF US: Ghadeer Khoury, Mother of Triplets!
Ghadeer Khoury, a mother of triplets and a BBC staff member, is our inspiration. She is a mother of three boys, a pastor’s wife, and our committed, hard-working registrar at BBC.
I interviewed Ghadeer to find out how she takes care of triplets, while working and pastoring a church.
ME: What was your first reaction when you knew that you are expecting triplets?
Ghadeer: My real reaction? Well, I was terrified! After my first check-up appointment, the doctor told us that we were for sure having twins. Deep down in my heart I felt that they were not only twins, but that one littler creature was in there! I ended up being correct! After we went to my second check-up, the doctor told me and my husband that we were expecting triplets! I was terrified; I didn’t know what to do. I felt a heavy responsibility on my shoulders!
ME: How old are the babies?
Ghadeer: My boys are one year and two months. They were born on the 15th of December 2015.
ME: I know that your boys have very special names, and each name has a different story. Tell us more about how you chose the names and why?
Ghadeer: Yohanna “John”, Itai, and Andrew. Originally Yohanna’s name was “Joud”, but after I gave birth, his health condition was not good at all. For four months he stayed in the premature section of the hospital. As a prophecy upon his life, we called him Yohanna, which means “merciful God.” Indeed, God who had mercy on him, healed him in a miraculous way. “Itai” is a biblical name, which means “God is with me” I felt that it was a promise from God that he will always be with my family. And Andrew is a name of one of the disciples. My husband wanted to name one of our boys after one of Jesus’s disciples.
ME: How much sleep did you get in the first year?
Ghadeer: Okay, this might surprise you. As a working mother, during the day I get tired between work, the boys, and my house. So, when the hour clicks ten at night, I fall asleep immediately and wake up the next day at seven in the morning for work. I turn to my side to my husband and ask him, “How was your night?” He laughs and answers: “Wow! Very hard!” My husband is the one who wakes up at night for the boys, not me.
ME: Do they wake each other up constantly?
Ghadeer: No, they don’t. I think that they know and feel that they are not the only child at home, so they respect this. If one of them wakes up, the others stay asleep, unless they are hungry or need a change!
ME: You mentioned before that your husband is the one who wakes up at night for them. How else does he help you?
Ghadeer: My husband is a blessing from God; he is very helpful. There aren’t things that only I do as a mother, and only things he does as a father. We do everything together for the boys. The one who is available does the work.
ME: How do you manage balancing between your work, the boys, and your house?
Ghadeer: At first, I struggled to decide if I should go back to work or stay with my boys because they need me. What put peace inside my heart is that the boys are at home, and I did not have to put them in a nursery. So, I went back to work at BBC, and it is very hard to manage between both my work and the boys. But I thank God for He knows how much I can handle, and through this time, He gave me the grace I needed to handle it.
ME: It’s not everyday you see women giving birth to triplets. That makes you a very special woman! What do you think is the biggest joy and biggest challenge of birthing three children at once?
Ghadeer: The situation itself is weird, in a good way of course. When I see them playing with each other at the house, making cute sounds, or watching each one of them do a new move that he learned, it makes my heart sing for joy! Not to mention that because of them, I’m very famous now! But it is hard. People usually ask me if I do everything for them twice, and I reply, “No, I do each thing six times a day!”
ME: What qualities should a good mom possess?
Ghadeer: It depends on how each mom wants to raise her kids, but for me the most important thing is to make them see Jesus through my daily life routine. I want to be a real example of Jesus for my boys. And this is a big responsibility especially in that I’m a pastor’s wife, and the boys are pastor’s kids. I really want them to know Christ well, and grow up to become committed Christians.
ME: What is the best piece of mothering advice you have received?
Ghadeer: The best advice I have received from people is no advice. I didn’t find any advice anyone gave me good and beneficial. Without their awareness, people used to discourage me because they don’t know the real situation I’m facing every day.
ME: Do people crowd around you, and ask you questions in public?
Ghadeer: I feel embarrassed most of the time around people, and I usually cancel any plans that are in public because I know that when I enter public places, people will stare at me and my three boys. Some people do annoy me with their questions, like, “How do you do it?” Some are even more personal questions. But there are also some who are very cute with their smiles and reactions.
ME: Now that you have three gorgeous babies, are you happy it happened this way, or do you wish you’d had them with more space in between?
Ghadeer: I’m happy they came all at once. It is a woman thing. I’m happy I won’t need to get pregnant again, or face the pain of delivery. I’m done! But sometimes I still think that if they came separately, each one of them would get a lot more of my attention, love and time. I feel that my love and time are divided into three right now.
After all, I really thank God for his mercy. We’ve come through difficult times with Yohanna’s health, raising three boys at once, pastoring a church, and working. He remains merciful and faithful. He didn’t leave us as He promised. Even though it’s still a very hard time, we experience God every day of our life.
Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writings sign up for Bethlehem Bible College’s monthly newsletter.