This NICU Is Caring for 12 Sets of Twins at the Same Time, Breaking a Hospital Record
Fewer moms are giving birth to twins. After more than three decades of increases, the twin birth rate actually dipped 4% between 2014-2018, reaching its lowest point in more than a decade: 32.6 twins per 1,000 total births, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). But you wouldn't know that was the case by visiting the NICU at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, which is experiencing a twin baby boom. Their NICU is currently caring for 12 sets of twins, believed to be the most twins at one time in the hospital’s history, according to a statement from the St. Luke's Health System.
Kyla Anderson, a registered nurse at St. Luke’s hospital, told Good Morning America, “There are nurses here who have been here 40-plus years and at no time can they remember that there were 12 sets of twins at the same time."
Families are from Kansas City and from as far away as Saint Joseph, Missouri, Harrisonville, Missouri, and Emporia, Kansas. All of the sets were born 5-14 weeks early.
In order to celebrate the momentous occasion, Helen Ransom with Faces You Love Photography, a former SLH NICU mom of triplets, donated her time to capture photographs of the newborns and help families document their stay in the NICU.
"As a former NICU mom, I love volunteering in this way," Ransom tells Parents.com. "When parents enter the NICU, their phones go in plastic bags to help minimize germ exposure. I'm able to give parents the beautiful images that just can't be captured on a cell phone in a baggie!"
Many of the families celebrated Thanksgiving in the NICU, which involved the little ones in a footprint craft, which were turned into paper turkeys, according to GMA.
They also received precious words of wisdom from Ransom, who can obviously speak to raising multiples as a triplet mom herself. "Meeting parents of multiples is extra special," she tells Parents.com. "I love being able to give a little encouragement to these parents of twins."
She says she loves being a "been there, done that" voice, reminding them to not only take the NICU rollercoaster, but also life with multiples one day at a time.
Ransom shares with Parents.com, "Raising multiples is incredibly rewarding, and that reward of watching your children grow up together and become the best of friends far outweighs all of the stressful, hard days we also experience. There's something about seeing that a fellow parent of multiples has 'survived' the baby and toddler years that helps you realize you can do it too."
That said, having Ransom—and 11 other families in the exact same boat—to lean on is something these SLH NICU parents will undoubtedly be grateful for this holiday season and beyond.