Two sisters have defied the odds to give birth to the first baby boys in their family in more than 50 years – at the same hospital just an HOUR apart.
Nursery worker Leanne Walters, 25, and bartender Lisa Harmel, 22, stunned midwives when they went into labour on the same day in adjacent rooms.
They could hear each other’s labour down the corridor – while mum Kim Harmel, 54, was left running to and fro to comfort both her daughters at the same time.
Lisa’s baby Liam was born a day early at 7.30am on November 10 weighing 7lbs 10z.
Leanne’s son Freddie, who was five days overdue, appeared at 8.35am weighing a pound more.
The last boy born in the family was the girl’s uncle more than 50 years ago.
Mum-of-two Leanne said: “I could hear my mum in the next room shouting, ‘Push Lisa!’ Then she’d come in to ask me if I was alright.
“As soon as we’d both given birth and I’d had a shower, they wheeled me straight to Lisa with Freddie on my lap.
“She was eating a sandwich in her bed and I was so relieved to see her. I told her I had stitches and she laughed at me because she didn’t.
“It was so nice to be in the same hospital at the same time, to know that I had someone there was really comforting.”
Leanne, who lives in Harlow, Essex a few miles from the family home where she and Lisa grew up, added: “I hope the boys will be best friends.
“This will definitely create a special bond for them. We’ve already started planning their joint 18th birthday.”
Lisa added: “Finding out we were both pregnant was a huge shock, but I had someone there with me the whole time.
“It was really nice that we were going through the same things, like I was up at stupid o’clock in the morning and I’d test Leanne, and she’d say she was as up as well.”
She added: “Us giving birth on the same ward on the same day was a big surprise for the hospital. No one has heard of anything like it.”
The sisters discovered they were expecting in spring last year, with Leanne telling her family at seven weeks and Lisa revealing the news at 15 weeks.
While Leanne had been trying for a younger sibling for three-year-old daughter Elissia with husband Nick, a landscape gardener, Lisa’s pregnancy came as a surprise.
At her 16 week scan, big sister Leanne was overjoyed when she found out that she was having a baby boy – the first male child in the family since her uncle Mark in May 1966.
A few days later, Lisa discovered she was also having a boy.
Over the weeks that followed, the siblings compared scans, talked about every kick they felt and had a joint baby shower with friends and family.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing – and at one point doctors said Leanne was going to lose her baby because she was suffering from agonising labour pains.
The unborn tot pulled through and Leanne was admitted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex after going into labour, where she was given an epidural.
At 3.30am Lisa was also rushed in after going into labour while sitting on the sofa watching TV, and pipped her big sister to the post, giving birth an hour earlier.
Fortunately both babies – who, the sisters say, look totally different – were born healthy and are now back at home with their glowing new mums.
The chance of them giving birth on the same day at the same hospital an hour apart – and both to boys – is just one in 100,000, according to betting company Ladbrokes.
Leanne said: “When I found out she was pregnant I was really happy but I thought she was going to steal my thunder.
“I was even more p*ssed off when I found out we were both having boys. There hadn’t been a boy for 50 years and then she got one.
“But it’s been such a big bonding thing.”
Lisa added: “The chance of it happening must be less than one per cent. Whenever we tell people they say it’s amazing.”