In the Loop

News and views from across Mayo Clinic

April 2, 2019

Baby, Baby — Sisters Give Birth the Same Day in the Same Hospital

By In the Loop
Left to right are Trenton, Nadean and Harland Thoms, Heidi Gaston, D.O., Kyle, Jennifer and Marie Ignaszewski.

Left to right are Trenton, Nadean and Harland Thoms; Heidi Gaston, D.O.; Jennifer, Marie and Kyle Ignaszewski.

It's not unusual for sisters to have a lot in common. Nadean Thoms and Jennifer Ignaszewski are no exception, though the most recent example isn't something anyone could have predicted.

Nadean Thoms and Jennifer Ignaszewski have shared a lot over the years. Growing up, the sisters traded secrets and clothes. As young adults, they were engaged within two weeks of each other and got married the same year. While that timing is noteworthy, it has nothing on what happened last month, when they gave birth on the same day — in hospital rooms next door to each other at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. "It's pretty awesome," Heidi Gaston, D.O., an obstetrician-gynecologist who delivered one of their babies, tells the Albert Lea Tribune. "It's very exciting for their families."

The excitement began when Nadean announced she and her husband, Trenton, were expecting. Jennifer and her husband, Kyle, had recently learned they were expecting as well, but they hadn't yet shared the news. A few weeks later, Jennifer, an administrative assistant at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, spilled her baby beans. Soon the sisters were sharing pregnancy updates — and a provider, Dr. Gaston. "Our prenatal appointments were always scheduled around the same time, so we did a lot of comparing throughout our pregnancies," Jennifer tells us. Including comparing due dates. After the sisters had ultrasounds, they learned their babies were due just two days apart.

As their pregnancies progressed, the sisters tracked who showed first (Jennifer) and who got morning sickness (Nadean). "I lucked out in that department," Jennifer says. (Her luck would change.) They discussed best buys on diaper bags and car seats, and they were celebrated at a joint baby shower. And on March 2, both checked in to the Baby Place at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Jennifer arrived a little after midnight, and requested an epidural. Because of her height — she's over 6 feet — the medication didn't work right away, and she needed a second dose to block the pain. Nadean arrived at the medical center around 3 p.m., and also requested an epidural. And then it was her turn to luck out. Because the sisters are close to the same height, the anesthesiology team knew to "make adjustments to my epidural," Nadean tells us. "While Jennifer may not agree with me, this definitely worked in my favor."

Jennifer's daughter, Marie Danell, made her entrance just before noon. Her cousin, Harland Michael, arrived around 7:15 p.m. In addition to sharing a birthday, the newborns were close in weight — 8 pounds, 1 ounce for Marie, and 7 pounds, 14 ounces for Harland — and both were named after family members, the Tribune reports.

As they settle in to motherhood, Jennifer and Nadean are again comparing notes. But now, they're stories of sleepless nights and baby firsts. "While it has been amazing to share this experience with my sister, I think the thing I'm most excited about is watching Marie and Harland grow up together," Jennifer says. "They will always have a special bond in sharing their birth date story."

While we're not expecting anything, we'd be excited if you left us a comment below. You'll find social media tools atop this page to share this story with others.



Tags: Dr. Heidi Gaston, Mayo Clinic Health System, Patient Stories

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