‘What’s two more?’: Regina mother delivers 3rd set of twins in 4 years

‘What’s two more?’: Regina mother delivers 3rd set of twins in 4 years

by Sue Jones
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A Regina mother says she’s used to “chaos” after delivering three sets of twins in four years, in addition to two older children.

Petrina Mcarthur

Regina mother Petrina McArthur poses for a family photo with her eight children: Petraeus, 7, and Alice, 5, hold newborn twins, Felix and Francine. McArthur has her second set of twins, Kai and Kitty, 2, on her lap, while her first twins, Hailyn and Hannah, 4, are behind and on the right. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

A Regina family is settling in at home with their newborn twins just in time for Christmas, after the two premature babies spent a couple of weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 

While adjusting to life with twins would be daunting to most mothers, it’s become fairly routine for Petrina McArthur. It’s her third set of twins in four years.

“I mean, what’s another two? I was used to the chaos already,” said the 32-year-old, with a laugh.

1st twins were a shock

McArthur and her husband, Trevor Lonechild, started their family seven years ago, welcoming a son. That was followed by a daughter a couple years later. Then the couple was floored to learn they were expecting twins.

McArthur gave birth to non-identical girls, Hailyn and Hannah, in November 2017.

“I thought I was good with just the two, but my first set of twins pretty much shocked me, because I didn’t know I was able to have twins,” she said.

Mcarthur Family

McArthur and her husband, Trevor Lonechild, welcomed their third set of twins on Nov. 29, 2021. The twins were born prematurely and received care in the NICU at Regina General Hospital for a couple weeks. (Submitted by Petrina McArthur)

Turns out, she has a knack for it.

In May 2019, she gave birth to another set of twins, a boy and a girl named Kai and Kitty.

The third set came on Nov. 29 of this year: Felix and Francine.

3 sets is rare

Calgary-based obstetrician Dr. Stephanie Cooper, who didn’t provide care to this family, said the overall rate of twins in Canada is about one in 90 — but that includes twins born with the help of fertility drugs.

She says it’s twice as rare to have twins without fertility treatments — as was the case for McArthur — and “definitely unusual” to have three sets of twins in four years.

“If you are somebody who just tends to ovulate more than one egg per cycle, then that would make you more likely to have twins in a subsequent pregnancy,” she explained. 

Some women are more likely to ovulate multiple eggs in a cycle based on their ethnicity, family history or through the use of fertility treatments, she said.

“I feel tired for her,” Cooper said, with a smile. “It’s also going to be super fun.”

Mcarthur

Seven-year-old Petraeus McArthur, the oldest of eight children, holds his newest sibling. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

Born a month prematurely, Felix and Francine are now settling in at home.

McArthur admits she doesn’t get much sleep or privacy.

“I really don’t get time for myself,” she said, again with a laugh.

But the mother of eight says she’s fine with that; she gets plenty of love and cuddles.

Watch how this family adapts to life with 3 sets of twins in 4 years:

Regina mom is beating the odds by having 3 back-to-back sets of twins

Many Canadians will be marking Christmas with just their immediate family but that’s likely enough for one Regina family. Petrina McArthur is settling in at home after giving birth to twins and as CBC reporter Bonnie Allen tells us, it’s not her first set or even her second. 2:05

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