Twins Peak In Illinois

If Naperville, Ill., were a painting, Norman Rockwell would certainly be the artist.

As CBS News Correspondent Bernie Goldberg reports for Sunday Morning, Naperville may be the twins capital of America. It's estimated there are 379 sets of twins in the small, suburban area on the outskirts of Chicago.

In Naperville, you can't turn around without running into twins. Take the Meadow Glens Elementary School. Based on the national average, a school of its size should have about three sets of twins. This school, however, hosts 14 sets of twins.

Sunday Morning gathered up the twins at Meadow Glens, and while most are not identical, they know they have something special. "We always have someone to play with," says one twin.

And besides the 379 sets of twins, there are 20 sets of triplets in the Naperville area. It is said there are more triplets per square mile here than any place in the United States.

So what's the story on Naperville? Why so many multiple births? Is it something in the water?

In fact, the area is loaded with affluent, well-educated couples of childbearing age. When they have trouble conceiving, they are willing and financially able to do something about it, such as going to fertility clinics. And once you go down that road, the chance of having twins or triplets increases - dramatically!

"I walk into this lab some days and say this is just like Mr. Wizard," says Dr. John Rinehart, who runs the Center for Human Reproduction in Naperville. It is one of many fertility clinics in the area, as Illinois is among a handful of states requiring insurance companies to cover most infertility procedures.

But when Dr. Rinehart tells couples that triplets are on the way, men and women sometimes react differently, he says.

"Most of the time these couples have tried so long, their initial reaction is, Â'Thank God I'm pregnant,Â'" he explains. "Women more than menÂ….I can see [men] thinking, Â'How can I make this work?' I've had husbands get up out of the chair and faint."

And because its reputation as a multiple birth-friendly area, parents like Lisa and John Wollman moved to Naperville, with Maggie, Zoe and Timmy: the town's newest set of triplets. Lisa Wollman did use fertility drugs; her husband says it can be a risky business, though.

"The risk of prematurity is very high," says John Wollman. "At first it was all life and death issues: Would they live? Would their brains function? Would they have motor skills? Would they be able to breathe?"

The Wollman triplets were born about three months premature.

"Poor Maggie.Â…She had to have a thing put in her nose," John Wollman continues. "She was breathing pretty well, then she stopped breathing so well, and they decided she needed some help."

But it was Timmy who needed the most help. He had four or five difficulties, all potentially fatal, says John ollman. But Maggie, Zoe and Timmy are 9 months old now and doing just fine.

To see just how time-consuming triplets can be, Sunday Morning put a time-lapse camera in the Wollmans' kitchen for two days. In that time, there were 38 feedings, nearly 50 diaper changes and half a dozen baths. And every once in a while, all the triplets actually slept at the same time.

"Three everything," says Lisa Wollman. "You have to have three times the equipmentÂ….The work is threefold; it's more like three times for each extra baby, so more like nine times more work. It's a ton of work."

Rhonda Hoolian knows that all too well. Fourteen years ago, she took fertility drugs and produced triplets Jill, Laura and Nicole.

Says Nicole: "I'm in some of my sister's classes in school, and they call you by the wrong name, or they just call you triplet."

Nine years and a divorce later, Hoolian wanted to raise a second family with her new husband. So she took fertility drugs again - and had another set of triplets.

"I don't know what it's like just to buy diapers for one or make meals for one," says Hoolian. "I have no idea what it would be like to raise six kids, one at a time, or even to be pregnant with one at a time. I just love kids!"
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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