Kera and Wessley Mitchell are currently adjusting to life as parents for a second time. Their son Riker is 4 years old, and in December they welcomed a set of fraternal twins, Lucas and Lincoln, to their family. The Mitchells are beginning this journey with some unique experience because they not only had twins, but they each grew up as twins themselves.
According to the CDC, in 2017, 33.3 twins were born per every 1,000 births. From 1980 to 2009, the CDC found that there was a 76 percent increase in the amount of twin births. Since 2009, the number has remained fairly stable, peaking at an all-time high in 2014. According to Medical News Today, women have a higher chance of conceiving twins if there is a family history of twins on the mother’s side.
Kera’s identical twin sister, Kayla Slack, lives across the state, but that doesn’t keep them from being as close as ever. Kera refers to her sister as her “built-in best friend,” and after growing up together, the two both studied to be registered nurses. Today, they talk or text every day, even though Kayla lives in Murray and Kera lives in Owensboro.
Wessley and his fraternal twin, Matt, grew up helping and complementing each other, rather than competing, like many twins do.
“As twins, we did everything together,” Wessley said, going on to talk about how they were very close friends growing up. Wessley said that while they didn’t often wear matching outfits when they were young, they would try to coordinate their apparel.
“I would wear red and he would wear blue. Those are our favorite colors to this day,” Wessley said. The pair are still close as adults, seeing each other at least twice a week. Matt also lives in Owensboro.
After having their first son, Riker, the Mitchells were worried that they may not be able to have more children. So, when they found out they were expecting in 2018, the couple was thrilled. Wessley shared that he was thankful but shocked at having twins. “I was just really excited to have one baby,” Kera said. “I was so, so happy when I found out we were having twins. When I was a little girl, I always thought, ‘oh, I’ll have twins when I grow up!’ I am just so excited that my dream came true.”
The Mitchells surprised their families by telling them they were pregnant with twins by having an individual ultrasound of each baby pulled up on their computer. They showed one baby first, then the next.
“We acted like it was just one baby,” Kera said, smiling.
They then presented the final ultrasound which displayed both babies together.
The Mitchells’ twin boys have very different personalities that are already beginning to shine. Lucas began as the calm baby but has now become more fidgety. Lincoln vocalizes more and just smiles all the time.
Moving from one child to three, the Mitchells had to re-orient their lives to make everything work.
“Before our twins, I was not a planner or scheduler. Now I have a tight schedule that makes life much easier,” Kera said.
The increased scheduling wasn’t a difficult adjustment for the family, and it has made their lives much less hectic.
“There are so many mornings I want to sleep in,” Kera said. “But putting them on a schedule frees me up to know what time to eat breakfast and feed the twins.”
Growing up as twins, Kera and Wessley have a unique insight into parenting a set of twins, especially in taking care to include an older brother, Riker.
“We don’t ever want Riker to be left out,” Kera said. “Growing up as a twin with Kayla, people would notice us more than they would our younger sister. I don’t ever want Riker to feel like he’s not as special,” Kera said with a smile.
Aside from closeness with his twin, Wessley shared that the importance of familial love was huge in his home growing up.
“We have a really loving family. I want to reproduce that for our children,” Wessley said. “I want these two brothers to love each other like my brother and I love each other.”
How is the only non-twin in the household adjusting to life as a big brother?
“Riker is always singing to them,” Kera said, smiling. “He loves to be with them and do whatever they’re doing.”