Almost Twins story
The almost-twins at Hudson Hospital & Clinic
It was a recipe for love, laughter – and an awesome story to tell the kids when sisters-in-law Amy and Holly Heinbuch went into labor within a half-hour of one another.
As the two women went through the early stages of labor in their private birth suites at Hudson Hospital & Clinic, with spouses – and brothers – Karl and Andy at their sides, each had no idea she was just across the hallway from the other.
The contractions for Holly’s baby, her third, started right on schedule on her due date. Amy, meanwhile, pregnant with her first, wasn’t due for another two weeks when she started feeling the first signs of labor.
Brothers Andy and Karl kept tight-lipped about their arrival at the hospital, not wishing to jump the gun with any birth announcements. As they supported their wives through labor, occasionally leaving the rooms to visit the bathroom or to speak to a nurse, they narrowly kept missing one another in the hallways.
“I think the nurses had already put two and two together,” said Amy. “They would see my husband come out and then Holly’s husband Andy come out, and they must have thought, ‘It’s just a matter of time!’”
Shannon Uphus, the Birth Center registered nurse who cared for Amy, confirmed her suspicion. “All day long we were waiting for the two brothers to run into each other in the hallway, but they kept missing each other! We knew we couldn't say anything to either brother so we had to just watch it play out on its own. It was so fun to be part of this exciting and rare occasion.”
Finally, two to three hours later, the brothers bumped into one another in the bathroom.
“When they ran into each other, Holly’s husband, Andy, asked, ‘What are you doing here?’ and Karl said, ‘I think we are having a baby!’” recalled Amy.
Once the cat was out of the bag, a sense of friendly competition sprang up between the couples; whose baby would arrive first? The sense of anticipation grew as the afternoon turned to evening.
It was a little after 8 p.m. when ob/gyn Jonathan Susa, DO, returned to Amy’s room again. She greeted him with her repeated question about whether he had delivered a baby yet.
Although patient confidentiality prevented him from confirming anything, Dr. Susa was unable to prevent a big smile spreading over his face, recalled Amy. “I knew then that Holly had had her baby, and so I said to mine, ‘Come on, you need to get here now!’”
Her coaxing worked; Amy and Karl’s son Colin Heinbuch arrived at 8:26 p.m., just 21 minutes after Holly and Andy’s daughter Sadie Heinbuch arrived, at 8:05 p.m.
The next two days of recuperation were a truly social occasion as the two brothers and wives welcomed family members and friends who wished to visit and celebrate with both couples.
“It was such fun having close relatives and friends in the hospital,” said Holly. “It was great being right across the hall and just stopping in and saying hi and asking how everything was going.”
Amy agreed. “The nurses were absolutely wonderful, too. My nurse’s shift finished at 7 p.m., but she stuck with us until Colin was born at 8:30 p.m.”
Several months on from their births, cousins Colin and Sadie are already becoming firm friends. Their parents know they will get plenty of chances to share their birth story as they grow up; the pair will attend the same schools later in life and – sharing the same last name and same birthday – will likely have a lot of people convinced they are twins.
One thing’s certain; the events of that July day will form the focus of a debate that’s likely to come up at family gatherings for years to come. “We already joke about who was the birthday stealer,” laughed Holly. “Colin was two weeks early, but then Sadie came along right on time and just beat him to it by arriving first.”