The story goes like this: Brian served in Kuwait in the Air Force at the start of the Iraq war with his good friend, Mike. Mike and his sister grew up in Camp Verde and were childhood friends with Jenny. Mike emailed Jenny to tell her about his good friend Brian. Jenny emailed Brian, figuring she’d do the patriotic thing and send a few emails to a soldier.
Cyber sparks began to fly. Brian came back from the war and started dating Jenny. It was real love. Brian arranged to propose in front of the cameras at a Diamondbacks game, shown live on national TV.
Jenny professed her love with a tearful “yes!” They married and spent a few idyllic years together, vacationing in Europe, hanging out with their dogs and watching Diamondbacks baseball. Oh, and eventually, they had kids.
Six, to be exact. Three girls and three boys. All at once.
Feedings, changings, managing a care-giving crew of family and friends—oh, yeah—and paying the bills. So we asked Brian and Jenny Masche this: Just what happens when you add six babies to a marriage? Is there ever any time for yourselves?
Welcome to the Brian and Jenny Show!
Did you always want a large family?
Jenny: We joked around and said that we were going to have a baseball team, because we are such fans. So that was kind of the joke…never thinking that we were going to have sextuplets.
Tell us about the babies’ births.
Brian: It was like being on a roller coaster, when you’re like clackity, clackity, clackity up to the top, and you can just feel your empathetic nervous system—just chills and all—right until the point of the first incision. It was just so fast. They were just pulling one baby out after another.
Jenny: I was throwing up the whole c-section.
Brian: And I was the puke sucker.
What did you learn about each other during pregnancy, labor and delivery?
Jenny: He’s tough. You know, I had to eat 5,000 calories a day. And I was really, really sick. And he was my drill sergeant. He said, “You need to eat. These babies need food! We’re putting this food in to your mouth!”
Brian: Jenny’s always been such an independent person and to see her basically helpless—seeing her go through the blood clots, vomiting, blood pressure being out of control, heart failure—was hard for our entire family. To me, it speaks to just how sacrificially she loves these kids.
What are the toughest issues you face in your marriage?
Brian: You have two families that are so vested in seeing this become a successful situation. A lot of couples go through that. Some friends of ours [told us] that the biggest issues in marriage are going to be family, finances and children. They said, “You just hit the trifecta, buddy! Two families together at once. Six kids at one time. The financial aspects that go along with six kids. You just got the big three-in-one shot!”
Jenny: What matters here is us. We’re going to have issues with our families, but ultimately, we are the team. We are the co-captains. And we have six little members. And in order for the six members to have a good team, we have to be good.
Brian: You can’t be married and sit back. If you think you are going to just going to be married and go to work…have a family and do fun things and your marriage is going to stay healthy, then you’re completely blinded. You have to find ways to pro-actively protect your marriage to help it thrive. To really nurture it.
What’s the last year been like?
Jenny: It’s been the roller coaster ride of the 32nd year of my life. We find out we are pregnant with six [babies and have] no idea what the outcome is going to be. I go into heart failure thinking I’m going to die…then we have six healthy babies and we get to bring them home.
Brian: It’s just amazing. I’d do it all over again if I had to.
Jenny: At first, I was depressed, thinking, we cannot do this. And now, we love these babies so much…
Brian: We look at other people in the store [with] their one kid and they’re pushing them in the stroller, and we’re like, gosh, that would be…
Jenny and Brian: So easy!