In a rather interesting twist on the term “family planning,” an incredible and rare event took place in Mayo General Hospital on Tuesday as three Irish sisters gave birth to three babies within hours of each other, with a fourth baby still on the way.
Mairéad Fitzpatrick, Joeline Godfrey and Bernie Ward from Cloonfad on the Mayo-Roscommon border each welcomed the newest additions to their family into the world earlier this week as their fourth sister, Christina Murray, awaits her turn.
Speaking to RTE's "News at One," Mairéad Fitzpatrick said, “We just never realized it would all happen on the one day.” Staff in Mayo General Hospital confirm that they couldn’t quite believe it either as this is the first time they’ve witnessed a family come into the maternity ward on a multiple booking.
“I was the first one to go at 3:25 am and then my sister had her little girl, Sorcha, at 11 am,” Mairéad continued.
“Then Bernie's boy Phelim was born last night at about half 8.
“The two girls that delivered my little boy delivered Bernie's boy as well … so two women delivered two cousins in 24 hours,” she added.
Not only are the cousins now fortunate enough to look forward to/dread a lifetime of shared birthdays, but the divine order of the world appears to have lined up the birth of the two boys and one girl in some kind of order: “It was my first (Thomas Óg), and Jolene's second, Bernie's third, and Christina, this will be her fourth,” Mairéad said.
All smile! The three sisters Mairéad, Joeline and Bernie with Thomás Óg, Sorcha and Phelim...and the proud Daddies! pic.twitter.com/Alu1m0EU5e— Sinéad Hussey (@SineadHus) September 2, 2015
The family hopes that the now overdue Christina will give birth on Wednesday or early Thursday so as to keep the dates in line. Nobody will ever have an excuse for forgetting a birthday in this family!
“There's four girls, there's five of us altogether in the house, and one brother,” Mairéad said.
“It was just so funny the way it happened.
"I was due on Friday the 28th of August, Jolene was actually sectioned, she was booked in for a section yesterday, it was her second baby.
"And Bernie was due today. Christina is still waiting for her little one, she was due on Sunday, the 30th of August."
The sisters’ younger brother has traveled from England to visit his new niece and nephews and hopes they’ll be having joint celebrations so he can save on airfare.
You couldn’t plan it if you tried!