Being Mom to three sets of twins and a singleton

Every time we share a photo of Misty Lang it goes viral. Why? Because no one can believe that one person birthed 7 children, including 3 sets of twins! That’s right 3 SETS OF TWINS!!!! In addition to the shocked faces we get a ton of questions. So I decided to interview Misty and get some of these answers. For the record she is a fascinating person.

What was life like for Misty prior to kids?

Like many young women, my life was very social prior to kids. I played on a pool league, rode around town on my Yamaha FZ1, dated, probably drank too much, and had as much fun as possible. My other long-lost hobbies included reading, hot yoga, and crocheting. I also was in the Army reserves and have worked in surgery since 2005.

Did you always want a large family? How did your meet your partner?

Growing up I figured that I would have 1 to 3 children. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I never dwelled on a specific number. My husband is an only child as his mom struggled with infertility issues and suffered quite a few losses. He always wondered how life would have been different with a sibling, and thought often of his unborn younger brother who passed at 22 weeks pregnancy. We met in archaeology class at a local community college. He was taking prerequisites for a pharmacy tech program, and I was working on an associates degree in biology so I could transfer to a university. At the time my oldest twins were 18 months and I was 7 months pregnant with my singleton and trapped in an abusive relationship. I often call him my “knight in shining armor”. He’s the best!

When you first decided (if it was a planned situation) to expand your family did you have trouble getting pregnant?

Fortunately I have had no issues in that department. I know infertility is a problem many parents struggle with, and my heart goes out to each and every one of them. It took three months to conceive the first time after surgical removal of the Paragard IUD. My next pregnancy was the only unplanned one–I was on the minipill while breastfeeding and inconsistent with taking it. The last two pregnancies were also planned and I was able to conceive the first month. Basically every time I’ve tried to get pregnant it has resulted in twins!

Any insight on hyper ovulation that you can shed some light on? How/why?

Hyper ovulation is a genetic trait passed through the maternal side, and it results in fraternal twin (or higher order multiples) pregnancy. As I am a fraternal twin, it’s clear that I carry the hyper ovulation gene. There are other factors that can contribute to fraternal twinning, but it’s very obviously genetic in my case. As many people know, fraternal twins are the result of two separate eggs being fertilized. The eggs can be produced by the same ovary or by both ovaries and released at the same time. During ovulation I’ve often felt cramping on both sides so I suspect that I release from both ovaries.

Have your pregnancies been easy/difficult? Have you had any babies in the NICU?

I don’t think that I can describe twin pregnancy as an easy experience, but it’s something my body has proven capable of doing. I carried my first set to 38 weeks and was induced for no real reason besides being a first time mom and not knowing any better. They were born via a vaginal delivery with an epidural. The second set of twins were born at 40w2d gestation after a 35 hour trial of labor. Baby A was transverse so we gave him every opportunity to change position, but I ended up with a c-section anyway. The third set of twins were the earliest at 36 weeks. I had a successful VBAC induction due to IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). The babies were measuring at only 33-34 weeks and in the 2nd and 8th percentiles so I was advised by both my OB provider and the Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor to induce. We had to stay an extra 24 hours at the hospital for temperatures and blood sugars. Thankfully I avoided NICU time by regulating their temperatures with skin to skin, and stabilized their blood sugars by supplementing with expressed colostrum after each breastfeeding session. My singleton pregnancy was an absolute breeze in comparison. She was a whopping 9lbs 11oz, and I delivered her without an epidural.

What is a typical day like for you today?

I can’t say that we have a routine. Most days start with pumping and getting the older kids out the door for school on weekdays. During the winter break and on weekends I am often on my own with all 7 children. Sometimes the older kids help me out, but more often they increase my workload by incessant squabbling over some inconsequential issue (toy thievery, disagreeing on a Netflix selection, looking at each other the wrong way, farting on each other, etc). On these days it can be hectic and I’m essentially putting out fires all day. My list of priorities is constantly changing depending on the childrens’ needs at the moment, and it can be mentally as well as physically exhausting. Aside from the fighting I thoroughly enjoy my children, however. Next week I am also returning to work, so my days will be changing drastically. As a working mom I pump during every break, and cuddle with my babies as often as possible when I’m home. Quality time becomes more important than the quantity of time I have to spend with the kids.

I read on your blog that you are an aspiring MD. Is that something you are going to continue to pursue?

Yes! My plan is to become an OB/GYN! The last twins were conceived knowing that I’d be out of school for a while in between undergrad and medical school. Originally I had planned on starting medical school this year, but the “extra” baby delayed those plans an additional year.

Having been a twin mom more than once, do you have any advice for new twin moms?

First off, it’s A LOT of work. Accept any help you receive, ask for help, and make sure your husband or partner is contributing equally to the workload at home. Parenting is a team effort. My husband and I both keep working until the work is done, regardless of who (if anyone) worked out of the house that day. Secondly, don’t take anything seriously–unless it’s actually serious, of course! Laugh at yourself, your husband, and your offspring whenever you have the opportunity. Remind yourself that each phase is temporary, develop your multitasking skills, and don’t worry if your house isn’t spotless. A good day for me begins with a shower and ends with alive children; I don’t sweat the small stuff. For serious issues such as labor, feeding, and sleeping, I recommend a combination of reading peer-reviewed research (Google Scholar!), asking veteran moms, utilizing professionals, and most importantly following your own intuition. We all possess an instinct when it comes to mothering or else humans would have died off long before Babycenter, Facebook, and Instagram came into existence. Trust yourself and your body.   Blog: Instagram: @triple.twinning Facebook:
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