Anne Brosious never expected to have her family expand by four in a single year.
Jennifer Willis holds her twins, Macey and Caleb, 9 months, as she sits with her twin sister Denise Pressley, who is pregnant with twins, and her mother, Anne Brosious, in Grovetown. Pressley says she is ready for the challenge of having two babies.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
By June, each of her 24-year-old identical twin daughters will have given birth to twins themselves.
"Most people don't get four grandbabies in one year," said Brosious, of Augusta, who is married to Don Brosious.
Brosious' daughter, Jennifer Willis, of Grovetown, gave birth to fraternal twins Thomas Caleb and Macey Anne Willis on May 18.
Willis said she and her husband, Brent, were a little shocked when the doctor heard two heartbeats.
But her identical twin, Denise Pressley, of Augusta, was not as surprised to find out she was pregnant with twins, who are due on June 15.
"I really wasn't (shocked)," Pressley said, adding that being a twin and her twin's having twins somewhat ruined the surprise for her and her husband, Tracey. "I kind of expected it."
Twins having twins, however, is a slightly unusual situation, said Dr. Lawrence Devoe, Brooks professor and chairman of the Ob/Gyn Department at the Medical College of Georgia.
"There are really two types of twinning (phenomena)," Devoe said. "Identical twinning is the unusual kind."
Devoe said that fraternal twins tend to run in families carried on the female side, though the exact gene placement has not been identified.
Brosious, who baby-sits for Macey and Caleb two or three days a week, said twins are popular in her family but usually skip generations. Her great-grandmother was a twin, and there are three sets of twins in Brosious' generation.
"We knew twins were in the family," Brosious said. "It goes to every other generation. But it should have been my mother's generation. But it skipped her generation and it whammied ours."
Twins, on average, occur once in 80 to 85 births, Devow said.
Fraternal twins, such as Willis', are formed from separate eggs and are caused by double ovulation, when the ovaries release more than one egg at a time.
Identical twins are formed by the same egg and sperm and actually separate into two eggs early into the pregnancy.
"I can't wait," Willis said of the impending birth of her sister's identical daughters. "We didn't hate it (being twins). We didn't always like it all the time, but we didn't hate it. It'll be fun now. Denise knows all the tricks."
In fact, being the last to have twins has its advantages. Pressley has helped out with Macey and Caleb a lot, especially right after they were born. Growing up a twin, Pressley also is ready for any kind of pranks her daughters might try to pull such as switching places with one another.
"I'm going to know. I know them all. I'll be ready," said Pressley, who is a fourth-grade teacher at North Columbia Elementary School. "I'm excited. It's going to be work. I know what to expect. I'm not going into it blind."
Willis and her mother tell Pressley that twins will be double the work.
"I like to hear people with one (baby) complain," Willis, who works in the Columbia County Clerk of Court office, said with a smile.
Just keeping her identical twins straight was a challenge for the Brosiouses. They left their arm bands on their daughters until they had to be cut off and used different color diaper pins to help keep them straight.
"Luckily, my husband and I were never both confused at the same time," Brosious said with a laugh. She found out she was carrying twins only two weeks before the birth of the girls.
Pressley gets to choose the birth date of her twins because of her need for a Cesarean, but won't choose her mother's May 30 birthday.
"They are fun," Brosious said, adding that she will end up baby-sitting Pressley's girls a few days a week as well as Willis'. "(Twins) are really fun. One thing about having twins, you've got all that work. Now that (Willis and Pressley) are having twins, I can leave them. It's more enjoyable."
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