Double the blessing Valpo couple welcomes twins same weekend as National Twins Day

Written by Contributor. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured

Published on August 21, 2019 with No Comments

by Steve Euvino

With two children, both age 6, from previous relationships, Joshua and Tess Waytovich joked that when they had their first child, they’d have twins.

It was no joke.

Watching her first ultrasound, Tess asked the technician if those were twins. “What do you think?” the tech replied.

“I laughed, because we had been talking about this for so long,” Tess said, “and it ended up being twins.”

The picture of the 4 children: Leo on the left, Kate on the right. Vivienne is held by Leo and Kate is holding Aria

Fast-forward to Aug. 2. Because of the expectant mother’s health condition, she underwent an earlier-than-expected Caesarean section at Porter Regional Hospital. At 4:39 p.m., Aria entered the world, weighing 6 pounds even. Two minutes later, Vivienne came upon the scene, weighing 5 pounds, 4 ounces.

Despite some early health issues, the fraternal twins are doing fine, as their parents have readjusted their lives and home, turning the living room into “Command Central.”

To add to the occasion, Aria and Vivienne were born on the weekend of National Twins Day, which this year was Aug. 2-4.

“I found out about this at work,” said Tess, an owner of Albanese Confectionery.

A time to celebrate the special bond between twins, National Twins Day is marked by the largest gathering of twins (and other multiples) in the world in Twinsburg, Ohio. A gathering that originally drew 36 pairs of twins now attracts more than 2,000 sets of twins.

Twinsburg earned its name in 1819, when identical twins Aaron and Moses Wilcox donated 6 acres of land to the town of Millsville, Ohio, with the condition that the community be renamed Twinsburg.

The festival recognizes both identical (monzygotic) and fraternal (disygotic) twins. To form identical twins, one fertilized egg splits and develops two babies with the exact same DNA or genetic information.

While Tess has no history of twins in the family, Joshua’s family has produced a number of twins. A cousin has two sets of twins; another cousin has twins and that cousin’s sister has twins; and Joshua’s grandmother has twin sisters.

Tess is 35, which, she learned, is considered advanced maternal age and increases her chances of having twins.

Twins, Tess confessed, are “twice the fun and four times the work. They’re an awesome responsibility and a wonderful opportunity to nurture and develop a human being.”

“We’re on auto-pilot,” Joshua added. “With the twins, there are things we know we gotta do.”

Joshua added that he and Tess have become two types of parents: one type for Leo and Kate, the older children, and the other for babies. Fortunately, the couple has a good support system of friends and relatives who’ll watch the babies, giving the parents a little time to do other work. That support includes Leo and Kate.

“They love the babies,” Tess said, noting that the age difference helps the older children. “They don’t want to be babies. They want to be big brothers and sisters. They want to hold the babies all the time.”

Two other lifesavers for the parents are the Baby Breeza, which automatically prepares bottled milk, and the Baby Genie, a container for dirty diapers that cloaks odors.

A former construction worker, Joshua is a student at Ivy Tech Community College, studying supply chain management. He is able to take classes online, which means he’s never too far from the little ones.

As the twins are not identical, Tess noted, “They look very different to us, but other people have a really hard time.”

Aria, the mom said, has a rounder face, while Vivienne’s face is more oval in shape.

Tess was scheduled to give birth Aug. 10, at 38 weeks of gestation. However, the mother was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, a form of high blood pressure which can be fatal, so doctors move the date up to Aug. 2, when the twins were at 36 weeks, 6 days.

Technically, Tess said, the twins are premies and both had some early health issues. Aria had a touch of jaundice, while Vivienne needed to stabilize her blood sugar.

Today the twins are doing better, as their parents have learned plenty about having two babies at one time.

“Get your support system lined up. Don’t turn down help,” said Tess.

Joshua added, “The stuff you need, get a lot of it. You gotta keep on top of everything.”

Photo Credit: Malmquist Photography in Valparaiso

Twin facts: Think you’re seeing double?

Here are some fun facts about twins:

  • One in 30 babies born in the U.S. is now a twin.
  • Identical twins do not have identical fingerprints.
  • Massachusetts has the most twin births of any state in America (4.5 for every 100 live births)
  • Mirror image identical twins have reverse asymmetric features. About 25 percent of identical twins develop directly facing each other, meaning they become exact reflections of one another.
  • Tall women are more likely to have twins.
  • Women who eat a lot of dairy are more prone to conceiving twins.
  • Twins interact with each other in the womb.
  • Some conjoined twins can feel and taste what the other one does.

Source: National Day Archives


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