Twice The Twins: 29 Years Later, Clinger Sisters Meet Island's Newest Twins

Jason Graziadei •

Twin sisters Kaitlyn and Alexisse Clinger hold twins Larkin and Beckett Morris at Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Photo by Kit Noble

The first set of twins born on Nantucket in 29 years met their forerunners on Sunday at Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

Larkin and Beckett Morris, who were born at NCH last month, grabbed headlines as the first set of twins delivered on the island in nearly three decades. For Kaitlyn and Alexisse Clinger - the last set of twins born on Nantucket in 1994 - the news made their phones blow up.

Friends, family and acquaintances started calling the Clingers immediately after the news emerged about the Morris twins.

"Did you hear the news? There's other twins on the island?" Alexisse Clinger recalled her friends asking. "People from off-island who I used to work with saw it on the news and called me saying 'oh my gosh'!"

On Sunday, the Clinger sisters got to meet the Morris twins for the first time outside the hospital.

"It's pretty cool to have this connection," said Kaitlyn, a former NCH nurse who now works in Cambridge. "And so great for the family that they were able to have them delivered here."

Nantucket Cottage Hospital had made the decision in the mid-1990s to stop delivering multiples due to the complexity and staffing necessary to safely bring them into the world. That changed last month when the hospital's obstetrics team decided the resources, staffing - and most importantly the health of Robin Morris - were all aligned to deliver the Morris twins by cesarean section on Nantucket. 

Photo by Kit Noble

Back in 1994 when the Clinger sisters were born, that policy had recently been put into place. But no one knew their mother Sheila Clinger was pregnant with twins. She, along with the medical team, found that out when she went into labor and came into the hospital expecting to give birth to one baby.

And so the Clinger sisters held the distinction for nearly three decades of being the last twins born on Nantucket, right up until last month.

"We think it's great and hope that more people have that same opportunity," Kaitlyn Clinger said.

The hospital, for its part, issued the following statement on that question, noting future decisions on delivering multiples on Nantucket will be a "case-by-case."

"Nantucket Cottage Hospital was able to facilitate the successful delivery of twins at this time due to being fully staffed in all areas of the hospital that interact with labor and delivery. While we are hopeful to be able to do more twin deliveries at NCH, the ability to do so will be on a case-by-case basis depending on both staffing and, as with all our obstetric patients, safe clinical circumstances for parents and newborns."

The Clingers with Robin and Chris Morris, their twins, and older daughter Thea. Photo by Kit Noble
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