Robinson triplets turn 10
Three times the charm
Darlene M. Johnson | 11/30/2023, 6 p.m.
A decade ago, Deirdre Harris welcomed three of her daughters, Kali’Co, Keri’Co and Koh’Co Robinson. Triplets, the girls were delivered two months prematurely by Cesarean section on Oct. 21, 2013, and required medical support.
Ninety percent of triplets are born prematurely compared to 60% of twins that are born prematurely, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Over the last 20 years, multiple births have increased primarily due to one-third of women giving birth over the age of 30.
Ms. Harris was 33 at the time and experienced health complications that kept her in the hospital for two weeks post-birth.
Complications of birthing multiples include premature births and low birth weights. Preeclampsia, or pregnancy induced hypertension, is another complication that affects half of triplet pregnancies, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Koh’Co was the first of the bunch to be born at 5:18 p.m., weighing 2.14 pounds, Ms. Harris explained in a Nov. 15, 2015, Free Press article. Kali’Co was born a minute later, weighing 2.15 pounds, followed by Keri’Co, who weighed 3.04 pounds.
Triplets can all be identical, fraternal or mixed, as in the case of the Robinson triplets. Kali’Co and Keri’Co are identical, while Koh’Co is fraternal.
The triplets remained in the hospital for a month before being discharged, Ms. Harris said. Despite their challenges, they overcame the odds.
Today, the triplets in the fourth grade at Montrose Elementary School in Henrico County. Each one has separate classes because Ms. Harris wanted to “give them their own identities,” she said.
Raising triplets as a single mother has been a blessing, but it has not been easy, said Ms. Harris, who also has a 19-year-old daughter, Kennedi.
“It has been such a pleasure, however, with a challenge I should say,” Ms. Harris said. “Having three girls the same age, same grade, it’s been a lot.”
The triplets are “sweet girls, very manner-able,” Ms. Harris said. They enjoy cooking, skating and dancing. The girls dance at Cedar Street Baptist Church for praise and worship and Ms. Harris is proud that they know their faith at an early age, she said. The girls also enjoy playing with makeup, girls’ days out and sometimes doing each other’s hair.
Koh’Co has always been a social butterfly. She is also kindhearted and the caregiver or “mother” of the group. She makes sure everyone is on task in the morning and will check on her mother especially if she is sick or having a bad day, Ms. Harris said.
Koh’Co is close with and looks up to older sister Kennedi, who graduated from Henrico High School and is pursuing a nursing career.
Koh’Co behaves similarly to how Kennedi was when she was a child. When Kennedi left home, Koh’Co “took her spot.”
“Koh’Co took over because she’s the big sister now,” Ms. Harris said.
Kali’Co and Keri’Co are like “Frick and Frack,” Ms. Harris said. The girls stick together and one has to make the first move to let the other know it’s safe to interact. The two are quiet observers who watch others before greeting or interacting. They both love to read.
Kali’Co is in the gifted proram at Montrose Elementary School. Keri’Co likes to dance and enjoys being challenged academically, Ms. Harris said.
All three girls are doing well and enjoy school. Kali’Co and Keri’Co both like math, while Koh’Co likes science. When they are older, Kali’Co wants to be a judge, Keri’Co wants to be an attorney and Koh’Co wants to follow in their big sister Kennedi’s footsteps and pursue nursing, Ms. Harris said.
The girls are also running for school leadership positions at Montrose Elementary School.
Koh’Co and Kali’Co are running for secretary and Keri’Co is running for vice president, Ms. Harris said.
Challenges occur when classmates or others draw comparisons among the girls during school. It also can be difficult staying on top of the triplet’s various hobbies and associated costs, Ms. Harris said. She is thankful for the support the girls continue to receive.
Montrose’s principal, Dr. Cassandra Willis, has “taken excellent care of the girls” during her time at the school, Ms. Harris said.
Ms. Harris also finds support from her pastor at Cedar Street, Dr. Anthony Michael Chandler Sr., who helps her make the best decisions for herself and the triplets. Family, such as her mother and aunt, also pitch in to care for the triplets.
The girls celebrated their 10th birthday with two parties; one with their father and another Barbie-themed brunch with their mother. And, while there will be more parties down the road, Ms. Harris looks forward to the girls eventually graduating from high school and going to college.
“It will be history in the making with three girls walking across the stage at the same time," she said.