A pair of identical twin sisters have defied odds of a million-to-one to give birth to their babies on the same ward in the same hospital – just HOURS apart.
Tina Hammond and Louise Huckerby, 23, fell pregnant at the same time and had been due to have their newborns five days apart on April 10 and 15.
But after Tina went into an early labour on March 21, she was stunned to find out her sister had been wheeled onto the same ward a few hours later.
She gave birth to daughter Delilah, who weighed 4lbs 13.5oz at 6.41pm, while Louise welcomed 6lbs 13oz Reggie into the world at 11am the next day.
The twins – who say they do “everything” together – even shared a room after giving birth at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
Today (Fri) Tina, from Wigston, Leics., said: “We couldn’t believe our luck.
“We have always done everything together and to share the experience of giving birth with one another was the most amazing thing in the world.
“We shared the whole experience together. It was lovely to be able to support each other in such a close way.
“After the birth, a midwife came up to me and said ‘You look a lot like another patient we have in room nine.”
Tina discovered she was pregnant after returning from her honeymoon in the Maldives in August last year.
The mum-of-three added: “I went on my hen do and felt a bit funny. Then my husband Sam and I went on our honeymoon, and I had an inkling that I was pregnant.
“When we came back, I took a pregnancy test and we were over the moon when it came back positive.
“I told my sister and she was so happy for us, but she seemed to be acting really weird.
“I knew something was up with her as she kept saying she felt sick, so I asked her if she was pregnant, and she said ‘No, don’t be stupid.
“About two weeks later, we were just chatting and out of the blue she asked me when my due date was.
“Then she said ‘I’m due five days before you’ and I couldn’t believe it.
“She said it so casually that I thought she was joking.”
But Tina’s husband Sam, 25, missed his daughter’s birth after he was too busy getting changed.
She added: “My husband and I had been out the night before and ended up with food poisoning. I am sure it brought on my labour.
“Sam was getting changed into his scrubs and I just couldn’t wait any longer.
“I started to push because I didn’t want to give birth in a theatre. I just had gas and air to get me through the pain.
“Delilah was out within four minutes and Sam missed the whole thing.
“Someone had to rush and tell him his daughter had been born. He walked in as the umbilical cord was being cut.
“Then I was sure I heard Louise’s partner outside my door but knew she wasn’t due for another five weeks.
“At this point, I didn’t know that my sister had been admitted so I asked if it was her and she said yes.
“She tried her hardest to arrange for us to be in the same room, and the look on Louise’s face was priceless when they wheeled me into her room.
“It was so nice to be able to experience our births at the same time.”
The twins even had a surprise joint baby shower, which was arranged by their older sister Kim – who is also pregnant and is due in August.
Louise, from Blaby, Leics., who also has son Archie, two, said: “I received a text from Tina saying she had given birth.
“I woke up the next day and was having contractions.
“Tina kept messaging me but I couldn’t reply because I was in labour.
“I was worried about Tina because Delilah was born early and had to have tests done on her.
“But because my sister to pre-occupied, I hadn’t been given any information. I just knew the baby had been born, but I wanted to know that they were okay.
“Our older sister Kim is pregnant and so is our cousin and they are both due in August, so they are going through a similar time to me and Tina.
“I was only in labour for five hours, and had no complications.”
She added: “Rhys almost missed the birth because he was training for his new job in Leeds.
“I called him at 7am and told him to come home. He asked why and I said ‘Why do you think?’
“Because he was driving a company van, he was limited to a certain speed but he arrived just in time luckily.
“When I was recovering in the ward, the midwife said ‘I have a surprise for you’ and wheeled Tina in.
“I was so shocked, but so happy to see her and Delilah doing so well.
“The midwives kept staring at us – they couldn’t believe there were two identical women in different rooms.
“My son Archie kept running between both babies – he was loving it.”
Joan Morrissey, senior midwife at Leicester’s hospitals, said the odds of the women having their babies so close to each other “must be a million to one”.
She said: “When the twin sisters chose to give birth at Leicester Royal Infirmary we would never have imagined they would be in labour and birth so close in time and location to each other.
“We are delighted we could accommodate the sisters in the unit in beds next to each other while they recovered with their newborns.”