When Jessica Penrose learned she was going to have her second baby, she called her mom, then they both hopped in the car to tell her twin sister, Andrea Elliott. She thought she was the one delivering a surprise, but her sister had an announcement of her own.
“She said she was pregnant, too! My mom knew and wanted to go along to tell her so she could see the looks on our faces. It turns out we were due within days of each other,” said Penrose.
The two began the journey through their second pregnancies together. “Our pregnancies basically mirrored each others’,” explained Elliott. “We had the same kind of morning sickness and the same aches and pains. So I had someone to call who literally knew how I was feeling right then.”
As their due dates approached, their doctor had an interesting suggestion. “They were both past 39 weeks, so I offered to induce them on the same day,” said Dr. Christina Litherland, Mercy obstetrician/gynecologist. “Instead, they scheduled their inductions on separate days, hoping they could both make the others’ delivery.”
With their first sons, the sisters had been in the delivery room with each other. “Dr. Litherland let us have our husband and each other in the room with us,” said Penrose. Elliott had her first son on July 29, 2010. One year and a day later Penrose had her first son. The cousins have enjoyed joint birthday parties ever since – just like their moms.
When Elliott went into labor early Saturday morning, she called her sister. As the contractions got close enough together, she headed to Mercy Hospital Springfield. Penrose planned to follow a bit later to attend the delivery – but did not plan on what happened next.
“My water broke. Before I knew it, I was headed in to have my son, too.”
With both sisters in labor, Dr. Litherland went from room to room to keep an eye on her patients. “It was just amazing,” she said. Within just a few hours, Andrea and Jeremy Elliott were welcoming little Hampton. His new cousin was on the way just down the hall.
“I actually wheeled down there so I could be in the room with Jessica,” said Andrea. “How often do you get that chance?” About four hours later, Jessica and Brandon Penrose were getting their first look at Dawson.
The sisters can add another joint birthday party to their list of social events, and say while it wasn’t what they would’ve chosen, it turned out just right.
Pictured on left: Jeremy, Andrea and Hampton Elliott. On right: Brandon, Jessica and Dawson Penrose.