When Nikki Crumpler Abubaker of Upper Marlboro and her 8-year-old son moved in with her then-boyfriend Munir, she was picturing getting married, remaining principal at an elementary school and trying to have one more child — but she got three more than expected.
Abubaker recalls her doctor saying “I can hear four heartbeats” and admitted it was a shock, but she said she was determined to embrace the surprise.
Those heartbeats turned into healthy quadruplets Jan. 25, 2012, when she gave birth to Munir Jr., Nassir, Nya and Mia, each of whom Abubaker said have already developed their own personalities.
When their quadruplets were 10 months old, Nikki and Munir Abubaker decided to get married in Aruba last winter, taking with them the entire family and nearly a dozen suitcases.
Raising quadruplets garnered the attention of Discovery Fit and Health, which ended up filming the family throughout the first year of the babies’ lives as well as the destination wedding.
The network ultimately produced “Four Babies and a Wedding,” a 60-minute television special that will air at 9 p.m. Sunday for Mother’s Day.
Abubaker, 36, said while they weren’t expecting quadruplets, she has a “no-lose attitude” and wants her new family of seven to show other mothers any obstacle can be overcome.
“I’m glad this was a way to document our babies’ first year. I want to share with the world my story, to show others that you can do whatever you want to do,” she said, referencing her busy schedule between being the mother and full time principal at Kenmoor Elementary School in Landover. “Going from one to five really changes you. But you can do anything you set your mind to and I’ve had four miraculous blessings.”
She said she went back to school 12 weeks after the quadruplets’ birth and has “been going nonstop” ever since.
“She has not changed,” said Leona Lowe, Abubaker’s administrative secretary at Kenmoor. “She is a busy lady, but she manages both. She’s a mommy, a wife and a principal. She runs a school and a house and takes good care of her children.”
Mawerdi Abubaker-Pinkard, Abubaker’s sister-in-law, takes care of the quadruplets during weekdays at her Fort Washington home where she feeds them, changes their diapers and helps develop their motor skills. She said she is considering starting a licensed day care and taking care of more children during the day as a result of taking on the task of caring for “the quads.”
“When they first told me, I thought, ‘What the heck is my brother going to do with four babies at one time,’” said Abubaker-Pinkard, 33, who agreed to be their full-time baby sitter. “I love the babies. They are the best. They really are a blessing.”
Nikki Abubaker said they plan to spend Mother’s Day at home with her family to watch “Four Babies and a Wedding” when it airs. She said a camera crew would visit them at least once every six weeks to film and said it was challenge having cameras and lights everywhere in their home.
“We’re going to keep things pretty quiet and just watch with family to enjoy it and laugh about it,” she said. “Our family values are the foundation of our success.”