June 14, 2022 at 1:21 p.m.
Freeport couple blessed to be first time parents of twins
That is what two little girls are to Nick Arnzen and fiancé Brittney Pierce of Freeport.
On March 29 they became first-time parents to identical twin girls Rory and Rilee.
“Not everybody gets to do this, so we truly are blessed,” Nick said June 7 holding Rory while Brittany caresses Rilee’s head.
“We are so happy,” she said.
Life in this young couple’s household revolves around the babies. Bottles and baby supplies line a counter and their soon-to-be used nursery is ready for the twins to share a crib.
It is a far cry from when Nick and Brittany met, five years ago at All Stars Sports Bar and Grill in St. Rosa, where Nick works. He grew up in St. Rosa, one of Mike and Beth Arnzen’s two sons. Brittany was raised in Fargo, one of Jennifer and Trenton Evenson’s 11 children.
Last year they were excited when they found out Brittany was pregnant.
“I was so happy I was gonna be a Dad,” Nick said.
A few months into her pregnancy an ultrasound showed there were two heartbeats. There are twins in the family, but far back in the lineage.
“The week before I was joking, ‘what if we have twins,’” Brittany said.
“I said, ‘Don’t joke about that,’” Nick said smiling.
They told their overjoyed parents who were happy for their children.
During a gender reveal party, with Brittany’s Dad entrusted with holding the envelope with the secret information, they found out they would be parents to identical (monoamniotic) twin daughters.
Known as “MoMo” twins, the unborn girls shared the same placenta but were in different amniotic sacks. It happens to one in around 3,000 sets of twins, Brittany said.
Learning early on in the pregnancy they were having twins, they started purchasing duplicates of needed items and so did family.
Brittany had a normal pregnancy, gaining close to 50 pounds, with her only craving root beer. She worked as a chiropractic assistant in St. Cloud until one week before the girls were scheduled to be born.
As a precaution, because one of the babies was breach, a cesarean section was scheduled March 29 at the St. Cloud Hospital, one month before Brittany’s due date.
“I was super excited,” said Nick of being in the operating room during the c-section; Brittany adding there was a nurse in the room just keeping an eye on him in case he felt faint, but that didn’t happen.
Nick cut the umbilical cord as each of their daughters was born; Rory at 7:41 a.m., weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces, and Rilee at 7:42, weighing 5 pounds.
Rory Jo’s middle name is the female version of Nick’s middle name Joe, and Riley Elizabeth’s middle name is after Nick’s great-grandmother and the name runs on the Payne – his mother’s maiden name – side of Nick’s family.
Excited and nervous were words Nick and Brittany used to describe holding their daughters for the first time, knowing they were now responsible for not one child but two.
“Just to hold them in my arms,” Brittany said.
“I was super excited to be a dad,” said Nick who has held his share of babies since his mom did day care for 10 years, but to hold his own daughters was surreal.
Brittany and their girls spent three days in the hospital before going home. On April 1 the girls returned to the hospital after they couldn’t maintain their body temperatures and were not eating, which led to their birth weights dropping to three pounds each. The middle of April they returned home for good.
Nick took a few days of paternity leave to help out. Brittany went back to work this week.
They work in tandem caring for their girls, taking turns during nightly feedings.
“I couldn’t imagine a better partner,” Brittany said glancing at Nick. “He’s been amazing.”
Nick said technology is great when it comes to monitoring their girls.
The girls are so identical they both admit to having bouts of not knowing which twin is which.
“Rilee is still a little smaller, but if they are next to each other it’s easier to tell who is who,” she said.
“We have a 50-50 chance of getting it right,” Nick said.
The girls are each developing their own personalities.
“Rory is the quiet one, and Rilee likes to absorb everything,” Brittany said.
Rory and Rilee each weigh over 9 pounds.
“In the hospital I held them both in my hands. Now look how far they’ve come in two months,” Nick said.
Their goal is for the girls to grow and remain healthy.
“And be best friends,” Nick said, with Brittany adding, “In whatever they want to do.”
Brittany celebrated her first Mother’s Day May 8 as a mom of twins, and this Sunday Nick will celebrate his first Father’s Day as a dad.
Daddy’s little girls are a double delight.