Three sisters from Westman who gave birth last month insist it’s simply a coincidence they each welcomed their own bundle of joy within 13 days.
Plenty of times, the Anderson sisters, who grew up in Hamiota, have had to answer whether they scheduled these December births all along.
"It was not planned," asserts Erin Morrison, the youngest sister.
Many of their friends and family, however, say the sisters are fortunate to share these memories.
"They think we’re lucky that we got to do it together," said Whitney Johnston, the middle sister, while tending to her first-born Claire, "especially friends who already had babies."
The married sisters — Sarah Anderson, 33, Whitney Johnston, 31, and Erin Morrison, 27 — say they didn’t know the other was trying to have kids. They had suspicions, but none of them ever admitted it.
Anderson and Johnston now live in Brandon, while Morrison resides in Deloraine. Last spring, Johnston was the first to reveal she was expecting, telling Morrison they needed another fastball player to take her spot on their recreation league.
A week or two later, Morrison shared her own news. She, too, was carrying her first child.
Later, the mothers-to-be invited their older sister to go shopping, and, mainly, share their big announcements.
"They called me because they wanted to surprise me with the news," remembers Anderson, "but then we all went shopping together and then I told them our news."
Three sisters, three babies.
The youngest sister, Morrison, was the first to give birth, adding Liv to their clan on Dec. 15. Daughter to Brett Morrison, the newborn weighed five pounds, three ounces and measured 18.5 inches long.
Johnston’s newborn arrived the next day. The seven-pound, four-ounce baby Claire is 20 inches. Her father is Layne Johnston.
And Anderson’s Ben, who arrived on Dec. 27, weighs eight pounds, one ounce and measures 20.5 inches. He is a younger brother to three-year-old Max and a son to Darren Allan.
In fact, all of the babies could have arrived the same week.
Anderson was meant to be induced into labour on Dec. 16, but the maternity ward at the Brandon Regional Health Centre was full, so she was bumped.
"They were too busy with these two," Anderson joked, who went back to the hospital on Boxing Day.
The sisters assert there was no competition on who would give birth first, even if it sounds like it.
"I was actually on my way to visit Erin and my water broke," Johnston said, drawing laughs at a recent get-together in Brandon.
The three December births meant some proud — and busy — grandparents, said Ian Anderson.
"I kind of think the hospital staff thought my wife and I were staff because we were there so many times," he said. "We made lots of trips from Hamiota to Brandon in that two-week span."
Last June, Anderson remembers being confused when his daughters told him and his wife, Barb, they would come for an early visit. They never come for breakfast, Ian said.
His daughters brought a gift: a planter with a plate on it, which read their family would grow by one, two and three.
"It took a few seconds for it to sink in," he said.
A video shows Ian raising his hands to his face the moment he figures it out. "Good Lord," he said aloud.
Ian and Barb counted three grandchildren before this trio was added to their brood in December — the couple’s oldest daughter, Jennifer Acosta, has two children.
"All of a sudden we went from three to six, and when they all come home at Christmastime, it’s going to make for a houseful — especially when most of them are all the same age," Ian said, "but we’re looking forward to it, absolutely."
It will make a busy Christmas season for the three families. There may be joint birthday parties, rivalries in sports and a whole lot of gifts each December.
They anticipate, too, a trio of cousins who will argue often, like their mothers did when they were kids, but, hopefully, cousins who will come to lean on each other.
"We get along great now," said Johnston, explaining her own relationship with her sisters. "We were OK back then, we fought a lot."
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