Mum sees double again

By Carolyne Meng-Yee

Tressa Simonsen with Kelly and Kramer. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times
Tressa Simonsen with Kelly and Kramer. Photo / Bay of Plenty Times

Tressa Simonsen is a one-in-500,000-mum - she has just had her third set of twins.

That's the odds the Bay of Plenty 31-year-old has beaten with the arrival of Kramer and Kelly, weighing 3.03kg (6 pounds, 11 ounces) and 2.89kg (6 pounds, 4) respectively.

"I'm a bit of a whiz at it now," she says. "But I'm very lucky because the new babies are great and feeding and sleeping well."

Tressa was already mum to four boys - Sharaz and Shaqiel, 10, and Daklan and Darius, 2, when the latest pair arrived.

All three sets of twins are fraternal, which means they are not identical and come from two separate eggs.

Identical twins happen when an egg splits.

Simonsen had a caesarean for the latest twins, after giving birth naturally to her first and second sets.

When she knew she was pregnant again, she had a feeling they would be twins.

"I couldn't believe it but I sort of had a feeling, though. I used to look at women with twins and think you are so lucky - now I have three sets," she said.

Coping with the sets is not easy. She is on a sickness benefit and her partner of nine years, Wiremu Kokiri, is a hands-on dad while he looks for work.

There has been great support from the Papamoa community where they live.

She says she has also had enormous support from the wider community and has had a family portrait taken for this week's New Zealand Woman's Weekly.

"Everyone has been such a big help. People in Papamoa are just so great.

"I wouldn't have been able to survive without Wiremu. With him not being at work he's been doing everything around the house while I am trying to sort stuff out."

The couple are hoping Housing New Zealand will find them a bigger house, but they are not in the top priority queue.-

They also need a bigger vehicle.

Simonsen said the family had to budget to make ends meet.

"We are on a low income so we live on the basics. I am on the sickness benefit for my fibromyalgia [muscle and joint pain which leads to weakness in joints]. I have to have cortisone injections but I still get numb fingers and pins and needles. I am on the waiting list to get an operation," she said.

Simonsen's grocery basket usually consisted of tinned food such as spaghetti, baked beans and fruit for the kids.

"A lot of the time we go without meat and vegetables. If we can afford meat we just live off mince and sausages. I make a big dish of spaghetti Bolognese. A lot of money is spent on nappies," she said.

- Herald on Sunday

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