Alarcon and her husband, John, a police detective, said in addition to funny comments — like from the nurses — some are intrusive and downright rude. She said busybodies will approach and ask her whether she used fertility treatments (she didn’t) or even how her family supports so many kids. Answer: by working.
“All we can do is laugh it off,” she said. “You have to have a positive attitude and a sense of humor.”
“Our children are a blessing,” Alarcon added. “But now that they’re coming in multiples, I can finally say, ‘I’m done.’”
Her latest delivery happened on April 25 at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y., when she gave birth to two daughters: Kenzy, 4 pounds 15 ounces, and Kenzley, 5 pounds 9 ounces.
Alarcon said she was initially pregnant with triplets but lost one of the babies, a boy, to a miscarriage soon after she learned she was pregnant.
“That was a tough day, and I had a tough pregnancy, but I’m grateful my two girls are now here and they’re healthy,” she said.
Her first three pregnancies were single births, then she started having twins. The couple also has a 3-year-old foster son.
The likelihood of giving birth to nonidentical twins three times in a row is very low, said Angela Silber, the doctor who delivered Alarcon’s latest twins via C-section last month after seeing that one of the babies was in a breech position.
“This is the first time I’ve seen a patient deliver multiples for a third time,” she said. “For Kimberly to have it happen over and over again without the help of fertility medication is really pretty unusual.”
Twins generally happen in one of every 250 pregnancies, said Silber, chief of maternal fetal medicine at Westchester Medical Center. A 2018 study by Brown University found that women over age 35 are more likely to give birth to multiples.
Now that her twin girls are home and rapidly gaining weight, Alarcon is enjoying the sweet reaction from her other kids: Brittney, 17; Sarah, 13; Hunter, 10; Zachary and Zoey, 6; Olivia and Oliver, 4; and King, 3.
“The perfect Mother’s Day present is to know they all love each other and are the best of friends most days,” she said. “Life isn’t perfect, but we’ve learned to take a deep breath and have fun.”
For Alarcon, family means a full house filled with loved ones.
It’s something she said she learned from her mother, Edith Knott, who raised eight nieces and nephews in addition to Alarcon and her nine siblings.
“It wasn’t always easy, but it was fun — sometimes to the point of being comical,” Alarcon said. “There were good days and bad days, but we always made it work. Even with 18 of us, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
She said that she can now relate to how her mom must have felt about the happy chaos in their home when she was growing up.
“My dad died when I was 12, so it fell on my mom to finish raising us all,” Alarcon said, adding that her mother worked as a teacher at a day-care center to pay the bills.
“We just all squeezed in together and every room was filled,” she said. “There was a lot of love in our house.”
When she and John started their own family, Alarcon said she knew there was a chance she could have twins because one of her aunts had triplets and two sets of twins.
“So the possibility was always there, but I really didn’t think much about it,” she said. “Then with the fourth pregnancy, the twins started coming.”
The couple was both thrilled and stunned when ultrasounds during the next two pregnancies also revealed multiples.
“By the last time, we almost expected it,” said John, 43. “I’m very happy to have them all. My feeling is, the more the merrier.”
The couple met when he was working as a patrol officer in Wallkill and was called to her sister’s house, he said.
“My nephew had stayed at a friend’s house without telling my sister and we thought he was missing, so I’d rushed over there,” Kimberly said. “When John came in to take the report, we couldn’t stop staring at each other.”
“I wanted to get to know her better, and now, here we are,” John said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
The couple was devastated to lose one of their triplets — an occurrence that happens in about 20 percent of triplet pregnancies, according to their doctor.
“It was really unfortunate, but Kimberly was a compliant and pleasant patient to care for, and her little girls are healthy and thriving,” Silber said. “They’re lucky babies to have a mom like her.”
Kimberly Knott Alarcon said her children have made her a better person.
“I’m not a perfect mother — we all make mistakes,” she said. “But I’ve learned that when life throws you some curves, you can’t beat yourself up.”
The biggest challenge is family dinner each night, when she said she feels as though she is running a school cafeteria.
“In the beginning, it was hard because I tried to keep everyone satisfied — hamburgers for one kid, mac and cheese for another,” she said. “Now it’s like, ‘If you don’t want to eat it, here’s the fridge. Find yourself something.’”
Clothes shopping for her kids is also not an easy task.
“With my 4-year-old and 6-year-old twins, there is one boy and one girl, so I can’t buy two of each outfit,” she said.
“Oliver is into dinosaurs, and Olivia is into ballerinas,” Alarcon said. “Zach loves superheroes, and Zoey wants everything to be covered with unicorns.”
“I’m always wondering, ‘Can we combine the two somehow?’”
Although their house has five bedrooms, she said the younger kids usually end up with her and John.
“We have toddler beds in our room and we have cribs in our room,” said Alarcon. “You name it, and you’ll find it in our room.”
“It’s our happy place,” she said.