KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Inside the NICU at St. Luke's Hospital it's cuddle time for 12 families.
"I'm pretty blessed. I'm pretty happy about it," Whitney Cathy said.
That's because she just gave birth to twins. Fraternal twins Callie and Camden Riley were born Nov. 5 at the Kansas City, Missouri hospital.
But the brother-sister duo aren't the only set of twins in the NICU unit.
Counting the Rileys, there are 12 sets of twins altogether. St. Luke's said this is the largest number of twins it's ever taken care of at one time.
"Having this many sets of twins has definitely been a different dynamic that we have not experienced," nurse Danielle Gathers said.
Gathers said all the twins in the NICU were born 5-14 weeks early, including Callie and Camden who were originally due in early January.
"He's still on oxygen, and they're both on feeding tubes right now," Cathy said. "But she's kind of progressing more than him."
The CDC says, overall, twins births declined 4% between 2014 and 2018, but that's not the case in Missouri where they're been a slight increase.
Cathy, who's already a mom to a 7-year-old boy, is getting adjusted to her growing family and catching up on sleep before her twins come home.
"I'm taking advantage of the sleep I can get right now," she said. "I come here and I'll hang out with them, and I'll sleep during the afternoon with them. But I don't know how it's going to be. I'm kind of anxious, yet scared to figure that out, so we'll see how that goes."