‘Good bonding for us’

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sisters give birth on same day at The Baby Place


On Saturday, Jennifer Ignaszewski and Nadean Thoms did something veteran medical professionals at Mayo Clinic Health System say they have never seen: The two sisters gave birth on the same day next door to each other at The Baby Place.

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Ignaszewski gave birth to Marie Daneal Ignaszewski at 11:59 a.m., and Thoms gave birth to Harland Michael Thoms at 7:13 p.m. The newborn cousins shared other close features: Marie Ignaszewski was 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and Harland Thoms was 7 pounds, 14 ounces. Their names both come from family members, and the parents did not know the genders of their babies until they were born.

“I didn’t want to,” Thoms said.

“You only get that kind of surprise once,” Ignaszewski said.

Newborn cousins Marie Ignaszewski and Harland Thoms rest Monday morning, two days after they were born at The Baby Place in Albert Lea. – Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

The sisters were in the same pregnancy stage, allowing them to correspond on the similar pregnancy symptoms they faced.

Ignaszewski reportedly correctly predicted the gender of her sister’s baby.

“I just said that they’re not the same,” she said of the genders of the two babies. 

On Saturday, Ignaszewski remembered hearing the chimes signaling her sister giving birth.

“My mom was up, and we were talking about Nadean, and she kind of looked at me, and I go, ‘Those chimes were Nadean, weren’t they?’” she said. “And she’s like, ‘yes, but you’re not supposed to know.’”

To Ignaszewski, the experience was “good bonding for us.”

“We’ve had our ups and downs, and it’s been more ups lately than when we were growing up,” she said. “So it’s been good. It’s been a nice thing to share with her.”

The two sisters became engaged two weeks apart and both married in 2016.

Nadean Thoms’ husband, Trenton Thoms, noted his surprise at the births.

“It’s kind of neat, something we weren’t expecting, that’s for sure,” he said.

OB-GYN Heidi Gaston, who delivered Marie Ignaszewski, said she has not seen a similar situation in her 3 1/2 years at the hospital and four-year residency at a Grand Blanc, Michigan, hospital that has approximately 2,000 births per year.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Gaston said. “It’s very exciting for their families, and it worked out really nice that they could all visit together.”

Sisters Jennifer Ignaszewski and Nadean Thoms hold their two babies, Marie Ignaszewski and Harland Thoms, Monday morning at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. The two sisters gave birth on Saturday in next-door rooms. – Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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