Freelance journalist chronicles life with quads

Freelance journalist chronicles life with quads:
by Myriann Harden

Amber BellAmber Bell gave birth to quadruplets last year, and yet she still has time to run her own freelance writing business in Houston.

“The pregnancy was one of the most difficult things I have ever done or will ever do,” said the 27-year-old Bell.

Bell, who grew up in Irving outside of Dallas, went to community college at 15 to get her associate’s degree. Then she decided she wanted to go to Texas State University-San Marcos to study journalism.

“I always liked writing ever since I was really little,” said Bell.

Professor Susan Weill said she really enjoyed having Bell in her journalism classes.

“If anybody can handle quadruplets it’s Amber,” said Weill.

Weill said Bell was an excellent student. “She always jumped into her assignments with gusto,” said Weill.

Right out of college, Bell worked at a new magazine, ICON. She had to help build the magazine from the ground up.

“It was a big mess at first, but it was a chance to stick both hands into the industry,” said Bell. “I just kind of winged it.”

Bell went on to work at five other publications throughout her career. She even got to live in Scotland for a year and write freelance at many publications.

Quadruplets

Bell’s quads

After she came back to Houston, Bell and her husband, Mike decided they were ready to have children.

When they first started trying, the couple had some trials. Bell had two miscarriages. They tried for a while to get pregnant and finally, after a year, they were pregnant—with quadruplets.

Even before the quadruplets were born they gave Bell trouble. She spent two months on bed rest in the hospital before delivering three girls and a boy about 10 weeks early. The couple named the babies Harrison, Logan, Kailey and Trystan.

It was another two months before the Amber and her husband could take their babies home.

Throughout the pregnancy and now as a new mom, Bell has chronicled her life with the quads. She writes a personal blog, Texas Tales, and also maintains her freelance writing website. She said it takes a little longer to get things done with the quads.

Bell said that it takes about an hour to feed all four babies, and she doesn’t get much time for herself during the day.

“I have one-hour increments to work, shower, do laundry and sleep,” said Bell.

Even with four newborns to care for, Bell makes time for her freelance writing, just not as often. Bell said sometimes she has to reread stories multiple times to make sure she didn’t write them in her sleep. She said she cannot believe that work actually gets done.

Recently, Bell’s mother and stepfather came to Houston to help with the babies so she could have more time to work. They watch the babies one afternoon every week so that Bell can get out and get work done.

“I think it’s crazy that I can say, at 27, I’ve done the hardest thing I will ever do in my life, and it’s over, and I survived,” said Bell.

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