‘I’ve had three set of twins in four years without IVF – my house is chaos’

Petrina McArthur, 32, is used to managing lots of children as a mum of eight with three sets of twins – and each set was a bigger surprise than the last

Petrina, 32, is a mum of eight with three sets of twins

A mum of eight who gave birth to three sets of twins in four years says her house is always “chaos.”

Petrina Mcarthur, from Regina in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, welcomed her newest set of twins in November – but they had a tricky start to life.

Born a month early, Felix and Francine spent their first weeks on earth in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Luckily, Petrina, 32, and her husband Trevor Lonechild were able to bring the twins home for Christmas – and they’re now doing well.

While managing twins is a challenge for any parent, Petrina is used to the demands of being a mum, with six other kids to look after.

Petrina says she hardly gets any time to herself but she wouldn’t have it any other way

Felix and Francine were born on 29 November

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In fact, after having three sets of twins since 2017, dealing with two at a time has become routine for the mum-of-eight.

“I mean, what’s another two? I was used to the chaos already,” Petrina told CBC News.

Petrina and Trevor started their family seven years ago when they welcomed their eldest son. A few years later, they had a daughter.

Then when Petrina fell pregnant again with what she thought would be her third child, she was floored when she found out she was having two girls – Hailyn and Hannah, non-identical twins born 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.

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But as it turned out, she was a natural at carrying two babies at once. In May 2019, she gave birth to a boy and a girl, Kai and Kitty.

When she welcomed Felix and Francine on 29 November, she was an expert at managing chaos.

Speaking to CBC News, Dr Stephanie Cooper – who works as an obstetrician but didn’t treat Petrina – said it’s rare to have twins without using fertility treatments like IVF.

She added that it’s “definitely unusual” to have three sets of twins in four years, like Petrina has.

“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, adding some women are more likely to ovulate multiple eggs through family history, ethnicity or types of fertility treatment.

After a worrying month in NICU with Felix and Francine, the parents and twins are finally home – but Petrina admits she doesn’t get much sleep or privacy.

But although she’s short on time for herself, she doesn’t mind one bit – because she gets plenty of love and cuddles from the kids.

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