Sara Garcia probably shouldn't have been surprised when she learned two babies were growing inside her.
There already were 16 sets of twins in her family.
She hyperventilated anyway.
"My mom and the sonographer were like, 'Breathe, breathe,' " Garcia remembered her reaction at 21 weeks of pregnancy, laughing.
She couldn't catch her breath. Her boyfriend, Romero Martinez, smiled big. Tears welled in his eyes.
Daniel and David were born March 17.
Today, Garcia celebrates her first Mother's Day as a mom.
She said she owes a lot to Sedgwick County Health Department's Healthy Babies program for preparing her for motherhood.
Prenatal classes helped her learn what to expect during pregnancy, she said, and the parenting classes she and Martinez are taking now are helping them learn how to take care of Daniel and David. Both babies have shocks of black hair, chubby cheeks and brown eyes.
At the parenting classes, nurses check on the babies' development. Last week, Daniel and David both measured 22 1/2 inches long. But David had bulked up more _ he was 11 pounds, 3 ounces; Daniel was 10 pounds, 14 ounces.
Registered nurse provider Midge Dempsey asked Garcia and Martinez how they tell the twins apart.
"Does one have chubbier cheeks?" she asked.
Daniel was born with a strawberry birthmark on the back of his head.
That's their cheat sheet.
The goal of the Healthy Babies program is to reduce infant mortality.
Sedgwick County's infant mortality rate is 8.93 deaths in the first year of life per 1,000 live births. Among African-American county residents, it's 21.57 per thousand.
The county's overall rate is higher than the statewide rate of 7.2 per thousand and the national rate of 6.6 per thousand.
The state House last week gave final approval to a bill allowing health surveyors to gather more data from mothers to try to reduce infant mortality rates.
The Healthy Babies program is available to any Sedgwick County resident, regardless of income. But it targets mothers in the 67208, 67214 and 67219 ZIP codes, those with the highest infant mortality rates. Garcia and Martinez live close to the Healthy Babies office in one of those ZIP codes.
In 2008, the last year for which full statistics are available, the program served more than 1,000 mothers and babies.
Alyson Taylor, project manager for the program, said Healthy Babies works with parents until their children are 2 years old. Help is only a phone call away — Garcia says she has the Healthy Babies' office number on speed dial.
Most Healthy Babies parents, Taylor said, also are WIC (Women, Infants and Children) clients. That program provides nutrition information and money for supplemental food.
Garcia, 23, said she's received great support from both programs.
Being a mother of twins, Garcia said, is both awesome and overwhelming. The twins eat every three hours, about 6 ounces every feeding. In just three days, they went through a pack of 52 diapers.
"David, he will let you know when he's hungry," Garcia said. "Daniel's kind of more calm."
Last week, Garcia and Martinez and others in their class learned how to give their babies massages.
"They just make me so happy," she said of the twins, dressed in matching red, white and blue "Mommy's All-Star" outfits.
Garcia's mother, Sara Archuleta, typically comes to classes, too. She watches Daniel and David while Garcia and Martinez work. Garcia is a paralegal for Kansas Legal Service and is studying criminal justice at Wichita State University.
"She's my lifesaver," Garcia said of her mother.
She said being a mom herself has made her even closer to Archuleta.
Garcia couldn't wait for today.
"I'm trying to plan my mom's Mother Day, and he's over here asking 'What do you want for Mother's Day?' " she said, gesturing to Martinez. "I'm pretty excited."