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Utica woman welcomes triplets at Gundersen hours before sister-in-law delivers twins in Rushford

Utica woman welcomes triplets at Gundersen hours before sister-in-law delivers twins in Rushford

Tiffany Anderson

Tiffany Anderson of Utica holds her triplets, Octavia, Talon and Colton, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, where they were delivered via C-section on Feb. 7. The same day, Anderson's brother and sister-in-law welcomed twins in Rushford. February has been a busy month for multiples at Gundersen, with four sets of twins also delivered in the past three weeks. 

Last year was a prosperous one for births of multiples at Gundersen Health System, and if this month is any indication, 2020 will prove similarly plentiful.

In the past three weeks, Gundersen in La Crosse has welcomed four sets of twins and one set of triplets.

And while the boom of double and triple deliveries is impressive, perhaps more remarkable is that one extended family was blessed with triplets and twins on the same day, just two and a half hours and 33 miles apart.


Octavia Anderson, one of a set of triplets born to Tiffany and Scott Anderson of Utica, Minn., is her parents' first daughter.

Talon and Colton Anderson

Talon and Colton Anderson, along with their sister, Octavia, were born Feb. 7.

On Feb. 7, Tiffany and Scott Anderson of Utica, Minn., added a trio of tiny humans to their family, with sons Colton Ford and Talon Scott and daughter Octavia LeeAnn arriving via C-section between at 3:53 and 3:54 p.m. at Gundersen’s La Crosse hospital.

Across state lines in Rushford, Minn., Tiffany’s brother and sister-in-law Taylor and Melissa Wait saw their own family expand, with twin girls brought into the world at 6:22 and 6:23 p.m.

Surprisingly, there is no history of multiples in Tiffany or Scott’s families, and when the couple, age 30 and 29, respectively, learned at seven weeks they were having triplets, their reaction was nothing short of shocked.

“I said, ‘Oh, (expletive)!,” Tiffany recalled with a laugh, holding her three babies at once for the first time Tuesday afternoon in Gundersen’s neonatal intensive care unit. “(My husband) didn’t say much — he just went really white.”

Already mom to sons Tanner, 9, and Cooper, 7, Tiffany, who works for the U.S. Postal Service, is playing “super mom” as the triplets remain in the hospital, visiting daily to bond with them before heading home to care for her older kids.

Born several weeks before their March 28 due date, the infants, weighing in at three pounds, one ounce; three pounds, seven ounces; and three pounds, eight ounces, may remain in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for several more weeks, until they can bottle and breast feed without need for an IV supplement.

Dr. Kate Moen

Dr. Kate Moen 

“They have to develop that reflex,” says Dr. Kate Moen, who delivered the babies, alongside an extensive team of nine nurse practitioners, RNs and respiratory therapists, one for each infant.

Moen was grateful Tiffany was able to hold off on delivering after experiencing preterm contractions just after Christmas, and despite their early arrival other than jaundice and 24 hours on breathing assistance, the infants are in general good health.

While Tiffany was having her C-section Feb. 7, a set of twins was being born down the hall, making for a bustling day in the Gundersen maternity ward.

While not a record month — Gundersen in 2006, 2010 and 2014 had seven sets of multiples born in a single month — triplets are a rarity. In 2006, Gundersen welcomed an unprecedented three sets of triplets, and one set each in 2017 and 2019. The hospital’s sole arrival of quadruplets occured in 2014.

In total, 1,669 babies were born at Gundersen’s La Crosse campus in 2019, including 40 sets of twins, up from 38 in 2018. Mayo Clinic Health System also saw a boost in twins in 2019, with 18 sets, a 50% increase from 2018.

Nationwide, 123,536 twin births were recorded in 2018, as were 3,400 triplet births. Statistically, the twin birth rate is 32.6 in 1,000 live births, dropping to 93 per 100,000 live births for triplets. Quadruplets remain rare, with 115 sets born in 2018, and only 10 women delivered quints or higher in the U.S. in 2018.

Births of multiples in general have declined 41% from 1998 to 2014, from around one in every 515 births in 1998 to one in every 880 births in 2014, according to the National Vital Statistics System.

Now a working mom of five, Tiffany — who named Octavia and Colton for characters in her and Scott’s favorite TV shows, “The 100” and “The Ranch,” respectively, and Talon after a girl she coached in pageants — is still open to expanding her family in the future. With eight siblings, she’s used to a full house, and both her parents and Scott’s live just minutes away and are eager to help out.

With 12 weeks off from work, Tiffany is soaking up her time with her triplets, getting in snuggles and learning their quirks. Nur

se Brittany Ebert, who is tending to triplets for the first times, says it has been fun to see the individual personalities blossom, especially that of “Miss Octavia.”

“She’s on her own schedule — she just does her own thing,” Tiffany says of her daughter, who has proven strong-willed despite being pint-sized. If Octavia’s first 18 days in the world are any indication, Octavia’s four brothers had best be prepared for some bossing around.

Says Ebert, to the wholehearted agreement of her fellow nurses, “She runs the show.”


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