Human Interest

Pregnant sisters who encouraged each other through pandemic give birth 90 minutes apart

sisters birth

Two sisters received unexpected joy this month when they welcomed baby boys on the same day. Ashley Carruth and Brittany Schille both learned they were pregnant in April after their state of Minnesota went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together they made it through the struggles of pregnancy during a global health crisis and ended up giving birth to baby boys just 90 minutes apart.

“Even for baby showers and things like that, it’s not normal and not what you expect in your head, so it’s hard,” Schille explained about being pregnant during the pandemic. “But having someone like my sister going through it was just so comforting.”

Both babies were due in December and the sisters used the same doctor. Their due dates were a few days apart, but no one expected that they would be in labor at the same time. Schille was scheduled to be induced, and Carruth’s baby boy decided he wanted to join his cousin outside the womb as soon as possible. Carruth went into labor in the early morning hours of December 14.

READ: How you can support women and preborn babies during the coronavirus pandemic

“She had texted me at 2:30 in the morning saying, ‘I’m having contractions,'” explained Schille. “She goes, ‘I might be meeting you at the hospital.’ I’m like, ‘No way!'”

Placed in adjacent rooms at M Health Fairview Ridges Hospital, the sisters texted back and forth during labor, giving each other updates on their progress. Carruth even stopped into Schille’s room.

“I did get to say hi, and see her, and we both just gave each other a sweet look,” she told STLToday. “It’s like those moments you think about when you’re a little girl happening in such a special way, so it was very, very emotional for both of us.”

Cassius John Carruth was born first, followed by his cousin Zander Paul Schille — named after the sisters’ father Paul, who died from cancer in 2016. “He was just such an important man in our life and just so special to us,” said Carruth. “We definitely felt like this was kind of his little gift to us.”

Since many hospitals have instilled “no visitor” rules do to COVID, this felt like “a ray of hope” for the family. “We really felt God’s presence throughout the whole labor and delivery hospital stay experience that could have been really scary and really weird with COVID, and no visitors, and no family able to come in besides your spouse or your partner,” said Carruth.

Instead of fear, the sisters had the comfort of each other’s presence, side by side in labor as they have been for life.

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