Hearing “You’re having twins” can be quite a shock to any expecting parents. To hear it for a second time is certianly uncommon. But to hear it for a third consecutive time must be one in a million! Yet that was the amazing reality Petrina McArthur experienced in April of 2021 after finding out she and her partner were having their third set of naturally conceived twins.
When Petrina discovered she would be having her first set of twins, she was already the mother of two single-birth children, Alice (now five) and Paeteaus (now seven). “It was only a couple of months after my daughter Alice was born and Paeteaus was only two when we found out, so it was kind of a shock.” Petrina tell us. In 2016, Petrina welcomed her first set of twins, Hailey and Hannah, into the world. Little did she know that within a year, their family would be in for yet another surprise and grow by another set of twins.
“Having one set of twins was a surprise in itself, but discovering we were to have another set was absolutely crazy”, Petrina recalls. “We honestly couldn’t believe it, and even did a google search to see just how common something like this was.”
Petrina’s second set of twins, Kai and Kitty were born at Regina General Hospital a little over a year after Hailey and Hannah. However Kai and Kitty’s pregnancy wasn’t without concern. About halfway through the pregnancy it was revealed that the left ventricle of Kai’s heart wasn’t closing properly. Petrina’s doctor monitored the situation without any intervention and, thankfully, Kai’s heart developed fully before delivery. In the last month of the pregnancy, Kitty had also stopped growing and she was closely monitored during that last month. Happily, both Kai and Kitty were born healthy. They are now thriving two and a half year old toddlers.
As you can imagine, trying to manage six young kids can be a challenge, so when Petrina got the news that she was pregnant and expecting yet another set of twins, it caused a whirlwind of emotions within the family. “It was certainly overwhelming to receive the news, and it took me quite a while to really embrace the idea we would be adding another two children to the family” Petrina tells us.
The third set of twins, Felix and Francine, were born prematurely on November 30th, 2021, at just over 32 weeks. As a result, they needed a precautionary two-week stay in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), in the Rawlco Centre for Mother Baby Care at Regina General Hospital. Under the watchful eye of the amazing staff in the NICU, Felix and Francine met their developmental milestones and went home to meet their family on December 17th, 2021.
“I honestly can’t thank the doctors and nurses enough for the care they’ve shown me over the years. I am originally from Pheasant Rump First Nation and, although I just recently moved to Regina, all of my children were born here. The staff in the NICU are truly remarkable. Not only do they take care of the babies, but the way they care for the families is really special as well. When I needed to watch my other children, they kept me continuously updated about Felix and Francine and were totally understanding of my situation. They made my stressful situation so much easier, and for that I will be forever thankful.”
“Our NICU sees approximately 500 fragile babies every year, each child unique in their needs and the care that is required”, says Dino Sophocleous, president and CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “Stories like Petrina’s exemplify why we continue to invest in life-saving technology and equipment for our NICU. Without the support of our generous community, caring for babies and families like Petrina’s would not be possible.”