By Tina Comeau
It’s one thing for one of your children to go to school for the first time. It’s another thing to be sending your entire family for their first day of school all on the same day – especially when it involves four kids.
Such is the case this week for Nola and Jamie Moses of South Ohio and their four children Liam, Sophie, Jack and Rhys.
Five years ago the couple gave birth to quadruplets. This week the four children begin Grade Primary at Meadowfields Community School, where they’ll all be enrolled in French immersion.
Liam, the most talkative of the four during an interview at the Moses’ home last week, says he’s especially excited about the bus ride to school. His mother laughs when she notes that the size of the bus stop is going to double in population.
“There were four kids, now there will be eight,” she says. Then again, there is always a population boom wherever the Moses youngsters go.
Sophie mentions that recesses will be one of her favourite times of the day and Rhys is interested in science. Jack, meanwhile, is also looking forward to getting to play outside with friends. Gym class, music class and colouring also rank high with this foursome.
While the children will all share the experience of the first day of school together, and they’ve had many other common firsts – their first Christmas, their first birthday, and other joint-family firsts – not all of their firsts have come at the same time.
Sophie was the first to start walking and talking. Liam was the first baby born – after all, when there’s four they can’t all come out at once. He was also the first to have teeth, and, says his mother, he was the first to start sleeping through the night.
Yes, that’s something you remember.
The four children were born on July 2, 2008 at the IWK-Grace hospital in Halifax. They were born during Nola’s 34th week of pregnancy, which was a remarkably long pregnancy by quadruplet standards.
Rhys and Jack are identical twins and weighed in at three pounds, two ounces and three pounds, nine ounces, respectively. Sophie was four pounds, 11 ounces and Liam was five pounds, eight ounces.
Nola had gotten pregnant after five years of trying, which included surgeries, drugs, other procedures and finally in vitro fertilization. Of the 11 eggs that were harvested for in vitro fertilization, only three fertilized to be transferred into Nola’s uterus. Then 16 days later they got the news, Nola was pregnant.
Of course then came the question, there had been three eggs implanted, so how many babies were there?
Initially the couple was told they were having triplets. Then at a follow-up appointment came a bit more the shocking news. Actually, they were told, they were having four babies.
But once the shock wore off, the couple said they were blessed to be having a family – regardless of its size.
Still, not only is the first day of school a milestone for the kids, it’s a milestone for their parents, and their grandparents, who admit after looking after four kids for five years, it will be nice to have a bit of daily break. This isn’t to say there haven’t been breaks. The kids, for instance, attended pre-school, which has also helped to prepare them for school.
Outfitting four Grade Primary students in one household all in the same year is a bit of a challenge. Their parents haven’t had to go shopping for school supplies. Their school collects $25 per child from families, and the school, in turn, provides the school supplies for the year. But still, you’ve got to pay that cost four times, plus you’ve got to have four backpacks, four lunchboxes and eight pairs of shoes since each child requires a pair of indoor and outdoor shoes.
But while preparing for the first day of school may be a little different in the Moses household compared to other households in Yarmouth County, there are still things that are always the same, no matter if you’re sending four children off to school, or if it’s just one or two – and this is a mother’s hope that all goes well for her children.
“It’s a huge deal. You want to make sure your kids are alright and they’re not going to get picked on or they’re not going to be slow to learn to stuff,” says Nola, who while excited is also a bit apprehensive.
“All of my babies are going off at the same time,” she says.
You can read some of our past stories about the Moses family:
Four babies on the way, Click here.
Moses quadruplets says hello to Yarmouth, click here.
Babies' first Christmas, click here.