Twin Sisters Give Birth to Daughters 90 Minutes Apart on Their Birthday: ‘God Had a Plan for Us’
"We've done it all together," Amber Tramontana says of her twin sister Autum Shaw
A set of twin sisters from Tennessee have done almost everything together, including childbirth.
Amber Tramontana and Autum Shaw tell PEOPLE they're still in disbelief after giving birth to daughters within 90 minutes of each other on Oct. 29 — their 33rd birthday.
"This is our testimony," says Autum, mom to newborn Charleston. "You couldn't have planned this... God made our story very, very special, and all the little details came together for a big, beautiful picture, and I'm so thankful for that."
Adds Amber, mom of baby Blakely: "Pregnancy and childbirth is such a stressful and trying time. It's beautiful, but it's a hard stage of life, and it's been really a huge blessing to have Autum every step of the way... we've had that our whole lives, so this is just one more thing to add to the list."
After growing up side by side in Tennessee, Amber and Autum remained inseparable as they earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Carson Newman University. They even became registered nurses and then nurse practitioners together.
"Thirty-three years is a lot of time to build a lot of memories, and we've done it all together, all the way through school, grad school, our careers, on into adulthood, getting married," says Amber. "We've had a co-pilot our entire lives for everything."
One rare difference: Amber, who is based in Knoxville, chose to work in the maternity and oncology units, while Autum, of Morristown, worked on the trauma floor and went on to practice orthopedic nursing.
"The specialties that we chose kind of match our personalities too," Amber says.
Adds Autum: "Amber is the planner. She's more type A, and I'm more type B, go with the flow. And that just works for us."
In 2018, the twins' fate aligned yet again when both discovered they were pregnant with their first children. Both were boys.
"That's kind of where I think the miracle really stands out," Autum recalls. "My husband Scott and I tried to get pregnant for about two years. Once we finally got pregnant with our son, we found out that Amber was just coming back from her honeymoon and was also pregnant. So what took us two years took her a honeymoon."
Though the boys, Briggs Tramontana and Maverick Shaw, were born 10 weeks apart, they were the same length and weight.
Autum says she became pregnant again in December 2019 but suffered a miscarriage on Christmas Day.
"After the heartbreak, and after very little time, we became pregnant again," Autum recalls. "That's when Amber FaceTimed me one night [in late February or early March] and said, 'Well, I wasn't going to tell you this, but I'm pregnant.' And I said, 'Well, I wasn't going to tell you this either, but I am too.'"
The twins soon learned that they shared the same due date, which fell on their birthday. They both attribute it to divine intervention.
"After our miscarriage, we struggled with 'Why did we have to go through this?'" Autum says of her and husband Scott's loss. "But we knew that God had a plan for us, and ... whatever that plan was, it was bigger than anything we could ever imagine, without a shadow of a doubt."
Adds Amber, who welcomed Blakely with husband Jim: "Everyone always says, 'Did you all plan this?' but... it's not humanly possible to make that happen. If it had been up to us, Autum and Scott would have been pregnant two years ago. Then we would have been on different schedules and that would have been fine."
"But the way God laid it out was like, 'Okay, bear with me — I've got something in mind. It's going to be beautiful,'" she continues, noting how she even prayed for twins while pregnant the first time. "[Now, it seems like] God said, 'Well, I don't know that you can handle twins on your own, but let me do it in a little different way.'"
Though they assumed Autum would go into labor first — she started experiencing contractions with baby No. 2 around 24 weeks and went into labor first back when she had baby No. 1 — that wasn't how things unfolded.
Both at 1.5-cm. dilated, the sisters arrived at Fort Sanders Regional Hospital in Knoxville at 6 a.m. on Oct. 29 and went into labor a short time after. Fittingly, they were in adjacent rooms and had the same OB/GYN, Dr. George Vick.
At 4:38 p.m., Charleston finally made her debut, weighing 9 lbs., 4 oz. Just 90 minutes later, Blakely arrived at 6:04 p.m., weighing in at 7 lbs., 2 oz.
The sisters say their daughters formed an immediate connection.
"They took to one another like they'd already spent nine months in the womb together," Autum recalls. "They just knew what to do and how to come together and comfort one another."
As they look ahead to the future, the twins say they can't wait to watch their daughters develop inseparable bonds, just as they have over these past 33 years.
"Every memory that I have as a little girl, in middle school, high school, college, throughout life, they all involve Amber in one way or another," Autum says. "I imagine they'll be no different... Charleston will say, 'I always had Blakely,' and Blakely will say, 'I always had Charleston.'"
"It's the birthday present that keeps getting sweeter," adds Amber, "year after year."
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