An Oregon couple tried for one more baby — and got their third set of fraternal twins!
“When two sacs appeared on the ultrasound screen, I started shaking,” Kathleen, 38, tells TODAY.com. “I was in total shock even though my doctor warned me it would happen.”
With trembling hands, Kathleen called her husband, Adam, 36, to share the news that they were expecting twins … again. (Kathleen and Adam do not want their last name published to protect the privacy of their children.)
“When I told him we were having two, I swear he was completely expressionless," Kathleen recalls. “I remember thinking, ‘My parents are going to be so mad at me.’ It was like I was a kid again.”
Kathleen and Adam welcomed sons Luke and Leo in 2021. The brothers, who are now 2 years old, joined James and Julia, 7, and Mikey and Marie, 5. Kathleen, a teacher, chronicles their adventures on her website, Half a Dozen Twins.
Fraternal twins, otherwise known as dizygotic twins, occur when a person releases two eggs at the time of ovulation and both are fertilized.
According to Dr. Justin Brandt, director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Health Medicine at NYU Langone Health, the likelihood of a person having three sets of fraternal twins would be 1 in 614,125.
Brandt notes that a person who has a family history of twins is significantly more likely to have twins themselves. Kathleen says Luke and Leo are the 13th set of twins off of her great-great grandmother.
“It’s uncommon for one person to have multiple sets of twins,” Brandt tells TODAY.com. “(But) it’s fairly common to see twins run in families across multiple generations.”
As one can imagine, raising six kids under 7 is not without its challenges.
“I”m not going to lie — going from four to six was really hard,” Kathleen reveals. But she has discovered some hacks that make life easier. For starters, Kathleen invested in a robotic vacuum so that she’s not constantly picking food up off the floor.
“I”m not going to lie — going from four to six was really hard.”
“We turn it it on at night and I don’t have to think about it,” Kathleen says.
To streamline the ordering process at restaurants, Kathleen will give her kids two items to choose from, instead of overwhelming them with options.
“Sometimes I’ll have them decide when we're in the car so that as soon as we sit down at the table, everybody knows what they’re having,” Kathleen says. She also recommends choosing eateries that are on the noisier side.
When it comes to laundry, the kids who share a room also share a laundry basket.
“I used to put all their dirty clothes in one basket and I spent so much time sorting,” Kathleen says. “Now I just do a load and it goes right back to the room.
“I don’t even fold,” she adds. “I just make sure it’s right side out and put it in the drawer. I love folding, it’s very pretty, but I just don’t have the time.”
Kathleen describes herself as a "recovering perfectionist."
"When you have six children, you really have to let go of your previous expectations," she says.
Though Kathleen lives in a state of exhaustion, she said wouldn't change a thing.
"I love watching all of them interact with each other," she says. "They have an unbreakable bond."