Special Delivery: Twin Sisters Deliver Sons Same Day

"You have to sit down." That was the doctor's admonition to Danielle Manara Grant when she went into the room at Ocean Medical Center in Brick, where her twin sister, Kim Manara Abraham, was in labor with her son, Aaron. 

There was good reason for the admonition, of course: Danielle had given birth just a few hours earlier to her son, Roman, just down the hall.
"It was awesome," Danielle said. "I wanted to be there for my sister."
"I was really excited for that," Kim said. "She would have been there anyway, but having her there after she had her baby made it that much more special."

Make no mistake, this was special: The 32-year-old twin sisters, born a minute apart in 1984, gave birth to sons less than four hours apart in the same hospital on Friday. And it was unplanned from the start.
Kim said the journey began a year ago. She and her husband, Matt, were trying to have a baby and she suffered a miscarriage. "It was really early on," Kim said. "I didn't even know I was pregnant." When she had recovered sufficiently and was given the OK, they tried again.

In the meantime, Danielle said, she was thinking about having another baby, but was intending to wait a bit. "I had just started a new job," Danielle said. She and her husband, Tyler, have a daughter, Reagan, who turns 2 later this month. "The timing wasn't quite right."
But one day last fall, Danielle said, Kim called her at work, telling her about the positive test and asking her to stop and bring her some more pregnancy tests.
"She was the first person I called," Kim said. "I had taken one and it was positive, but I had to be sure." Her car battery was dead and she was stuck at home, and she wanted to confirm what she saw on the first test.

When Danielle arrived, she had several tests, so Kim took one and sure enough, it too was positive. Kim urged her sister to take one. "I had to convince her," Kim said.
"I didn't think I was pregnant," Danielle said. She had only had her menstrual cycle resume just a few months earlier. But she gave in and when the result came back positive, she had a decidedly different reaction.
"We had pregnancy tests and cups of pee all over, and I was so excited," Kim said. "And here I am thinking, 'Oh no,' " Danielle said. "We went from celebrating Kim's excitement," Danielle said, "to me talking her off the ledge," Kim said, laughing. But once Danielle got past the initial shock, the idea of the sisters raising their babies together filled them and their husbands with joy.
"I told Tyler Reagan is going to be a big cousin ... and a big sister," she said, and her husband's response was, "You're both pregnant?" But he and Matt both were very excited, Danielle said. "We're all really close," Danielle said of the two couples, who live just a few miles apart in Toms River.

As the months passed, sharing the experience made it that much more special for both sisters, whether they were just hanging out watching a movie and indulging a craving, having their ultrasound appointments or having a party for the gender reveal.
Danielle said at their first ultrasound appointments at the sisters had very different thoughts. "(Kim) was hoping for twins, and I was like 'please don't let it be twins,' " Danielle said, laughing. "Because I already had my daughter, I was good with having just one baby." Near the end of their pregnancies, they had 3D ultrasounds together.
"We would have done it together even if we weren't both pregnant," Danielle said, "but being pregnant (and seeing each other's babies) made it awesome."

The gender reveal party was special, Kim said. "I was hoping for a boy," she said, but she had a second wish: for both her baby and Danielle's to be the same gender. "I love pink," Danielle said, admitting she was hoping initially for another girl. When blue confetti burst into the air from the confetti cannons, "It was so exciting," Kim said. "Sharing that moment together, having two of the same sex, was awesome."
"There were 40 people there and everyone was excited for us," Danielle said. "It was awesome."

The sisters said there were some amusing moments as their appointments at Brielle Obstetrics and Gynecology led to some confusion for the staff.
"They have five doctors, so you see whoever is available (at each checkup) because you don't know who will be on call when you deliver," Kim said. When the sisters had their appointments early on, they would get quizzical looks from the staff like "didn't we just see you," Danielle said.

As they neared their due dates — both sisters' babies were due April 22 — and Danielle went on maternity leave, everyone realized what was happening, and the sisters had their last few appointments together, they said. "One doctor had both our folders and saw us in the same room at the same time," Kim said.
That day came and went, Danielle said, and on April 28, the sisters had appointments to discuss induction of labor. "We were with separate doctors that day," Danielle said, and initially the doctors wanted to induce them May 3, she said. "We asked them to do it sooner," and settled on April 28 as the date. But even with choosing to be induced the same day, there was no guarantee they would deliver at the same time, Danielle said. "Our stepsister was induced on a Friday and finally had her baby by C-section on Sunday," she said.

Kim went into the hospital on Thursday night to begin the preparations for induction. "They give you something to soften your cervix," to help get labor going, Kim said. Danielle, who said she had to have labor induced with Reagan as well, went in at 7 a.m. Friday. Both received pitocin, to stimulate labor, about 8 a.m., Danielle said.
And unlike when they were born — Danielle said she and Kim were delivered by Casearean section a month early because Kim was feet first, and the umbilical cord was wrapped around Danielle's neck — Danielle delivered Roman first, with the 8-pound, 12-ounce baby arriving at 11:42 a.m., with midwife Barbara Lutz attending her, she said. "He came fast," Danielle said, "but it was a hard labor."

Meanwhile down the hall, Kim was still in labor. So once they got Danielle cleaned up, she and baby Roman went in to see Kim. They asked Dr. Diane DiTusa, who was monitoring Kim's labor, if Danielle could stay for the labor along with their mother, Debra Cucci.
"The doctor said OK, but you have to sit," Danielle said. "I didn't think I'd want watch it. I kept peeking out from behind my mom. But then it was OK because I was already done (with giving birth)," she said.
"(Kim) was in so much pain; I felt bad for her," Danielle said. "If I hadn't already had Roman, there's no way I could have watched."
"I was reallly excited (to have Danielle in the room)," Kim said. "We were able to have conversations in between the contractions. Having her anywhere helps. It makes you calmer because you can make jokes about what's going on."

Danielle said she didn't say much while Kim was having contractions. "We're both like 'Don't talk to us' when it's happening. That's how I am and she's how I am, so I understand." Seeing her nephew Aaron, who weighed in at 9 pounds, 12 ounces, arrive at 3:21 p.m. was beyond exciting, Danielle said.
Danielle said that after the sisters gave birth, they were constantly in each others' rooms at the hospital. "The nurses were always looking for us. They'd go looking in one of our rooms to check on us or the baby and find us in the other one's room," she said, laughing. All four were released from the hospital on Sunday.
"Just being able to go through everything together was awesome," Kim said. "It was just nice to be on the same page."
"There's never been a competition between us," Danielle said. And they intend to see to it that their sons are the same way, she said.
"We want them to get along," she said. "They're family."
Special Delivery: Twin Sisters Deliver Sons Same Day Special Delivery: Twin Sisters Deliver Sons Same Day Reviewed by Nene Sochi-Okereke on Wednesday, 3 May 2017 Rating: 5

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