Reed City family celebrates four generations of twins
REED CITY — According to the National Organization of Mothers of Twins club, the more children you have, the higher your chances are of conceiving twins.
No one knows this better than the Davis family. The already large family of almost 60 members, which includes children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, also can claim four generations of twins to its name.
“It’s a lot of fun to be a twin and be in a family of twins,” said Andrea Wood, who along with her sister Audrey, make up the third generation set of twins in the family.
“We have a connection with our family members who are twins,” she added. “We know what it’s like to be called the other’s name every single day.”
The Davis family, which stems from Audrey and Ken Davis, of Reed City, trace the twin lineage through Ken’s side. He grew up with twin sisters, Wanda and Woania. He and Audrey went on to have twin daughters, Rose Marie and Coralie, twin granddaughters, Audrey and Andrea, and twin great-granddaughters, Grace and Macey.
“It was really cool growing up in our family,” Andrea said. “I remember taking twin pictures when we were little with the older aunts.”
Though having twins in the family is the norm now, the couple’s own set of twins came as a surprise. While Audrey thought she might be pregnant with twin daughters, RoseMarie and Coralie, her doctor was not concerned.
“I told the doctor that I thought I might be having twins,” Audrey said. “And he said, ‘Why do you think that?’ I told him that I felt different and I was much bigger then when I had my other children. Ken’s mother and my mother both knew we were going to have twins.”
Though Audrey suspected, it was still a surprise the day the twins were born.
“As soon as we went to the hospital, the nurse told me, ‘I think you’re going to have twins,’” Audrey said. “I had one girl and then the doctor told me there was another baby. The twins were born 18 minutes apart.”
The couple, who already had five children, had not planned for twins. Audrey remembers scrambling to get together supplies for the unexpected two babies.
Her older children helped care for the girls when they were young. For a while, Audrey and her husband worked opposite shifts so that someone was always home to watch the children. Though raising the twins in a big family had its challenges, it never felt that way to Audrey.
“They’re all a blessing,” she said. “We’re so pleased to have such a big and nice family.”
Audrey’s daughter, Jan, went on to have the family’s only set of identical twins. When they were younger, Audrey and Andrea Wood were identical to the point the kids they went to school with would often confuse them.
The girls grew up doing everything together, from sharing a car and bathroom, to having the same classes in high school and working at the same job. The first time the twins were separated was when Audrey Wood went into the U.S. National Guard. While Andrea attended her first semester at Ferris State University, her sister underwent basic training in Missouri.
“Being separated was awful,” Audrey Wood recalled. “It was almost like we went through a break-up. I changed while she was away and she changed. I was really lonely. The person I relied upon to keep me from being lonely was gone.”
She returned from basic training and attended Ferris the second semester of that year. Since then, the two have remained close.
The newest set of twins in the family is Audrey’s great-grandchildren two-year-old Grace and Macey, who live in Clare with their parents, Michelle and Kasey.
“It’s cool to be the uncle of twins,” said Markus Ramsey, Audrey’s grandson and brother/in-law to Michelle and Kasey. “A lot of people don’t have that in their families, but it’s something I get to see every day. Growing up with Andrea and Audrey too, who were so much alike, it’s a special thing to see.”
While twins may look alike, Audrey said it’s important to remember they are two different people.
“Don’t compare them,” she added. “They’re individuals. Don’t dress them alike all the time. Let them have their space.”
Getting the family together always is a reminder of the unique traits the Davis family shares. From the curly, red hair that runs in the family to its four generations of twins, the family is always thankful to be together.
“It feels great to have them in the family,” Davis said. “We’re so blessed to have our kids. They all get along well, we are so fortunate. We haven’t lost any grandchildren or great-grandchildren either, which also is a blessing. We’re very thankful.”