3 grandkids born 15 minutes apart in same Fargo hospital
As proud grandma Pat Geraghty watched the nurses weigh, measure and take the footprints of her newborn granddaughter Kyenna, happy tears streamed down her face.
She had three times as many reasons to be so happy.
In the space of one Thursday morning, she had not only gained one new granddaughter, but, rather unexpectedly, three.
"I almost died," she says. "What a great day. What a miracle."
Pat and her husband, Dan, had thought it was pretty cool that their two children, Tony and Jess, were both expecting babies. They were even more delighted when they learned their kids' due dates were exactly one month apart.
Tony and his wife, Tessa, were expecting their third child Aug. 19. Jess and her husband, Dave Elliott, were expecting twin girls to arrive Sept. 19.
But nature has a time clock all its own.
All three babies wound up being born Aug. 12, just minutes apart and a few rooms away from each other.
"I kept saying, 'Three babies in less than 15 minutes? I can't believe this,' " Pat says.
One month apart
In January, Tony and Tessa Geraghty sent out a cryptic text to family members.
It listed nothing but a date, Aug. 19.
Jess and Dave Elliott knew it was a due date. After all, the young Fargo couple had similar news to share. They reciprocated with their own text. It read, "Sept. 19."
Everyone in the family laughed over the close proximity in due dates. As the pregnancies progressed, people marveled at how the two moms even looked alike. They grew at the same pace and even seemed to carry their babies the same way.
But the similarities ended there.
Jess and Dave would be first-time parents, while the Geraghtys already had two daughters: Kadence, 6, and Zaida, 4.
Jess and Dave also learned in April that they were going to have twins.
And while Tessa's pregnancy was as easy as her previous two had been, Jess had a rougher time.
Around 31 weeks, Jess began having contractions. She was prescribed medication and then later put on bed rest for three weeks. In the third week, she developed severe swelling in her legs. She was diagnosed with preeclampsia - a pregnancy-induced condition in which the mother develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
Although most women with preeclampsia deliver healthy babies, it can potentially lead to serious complications for both mother and child.
Jess was admitted to Sanford Health's Birth Center Aug. 11. The next day, her obstetrician recommended the babies be delivered via C-section.
Tessa, meanwhile, was experiencing a little drama of her own. She wasn't due for another week, but she felt like the baby might have different plans. After all, her first two girls had also arrived early.
Jess was in her hospital bed when she received a text from Tessa. She asked how Jess was feeling. Then she added: "I guess it's a race."
'I almost died'
Sidney Malin Elliott, just 3 pounds, 10 ounces, was born first, at 11:26 a.m.
Sienna Grace Elliott, who weighed 3 pounds, 11 ounces, was born one minute later.
The babies were healthy but tiny, so they were whisked off to Sanford's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Pat, who had been in the waiting room, was asked by Jess' husband, Dave, to go out in the hall.
"As I came out to the hall, Tony was in the nursery holding up a baby girl," Pat says. "I about died."
Kyenna Margaret had arrived at 11:42 a.m., in a room just kitty-corner from the Elliotts' room. She weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and had a shock of dark hair.
Even the nurses were amazed at the sudden influx of Geraghty babies.
"They thought it was a huge deal," Jess says. "It was cool that they were so into it."
Dan Geraghty, who had been working his food-broker job in Grand Forks, rushed back to see his new grandchildren. Unfortunately, not even Jess could see the twins. She had a fever, which kept her from visiting the NICU. For several days, they were called "Baby A" and "Baby B" because she didn't want to name them until she saw them.
Tessa and Kyenna were able to go home the next day. The twins stayed in the hospital for 14 days. Jess also wound up back in the hospital, after her hypertension refused to ease and a hematoma developed under her C-section incision.
"I feel fantastic now," Jess says. "They'll sleep for five hours, and then I'll feed them. They sleep really well. I hope it stays that way."
Sweet dreams are made of threes
Now 59 days old, the three babies were the star attractions at a recent gathering at Pat and Dan's Moorhead home. At 9½ pounds, Kyenna dwarfs her tiny cousins. Sienna tips the scales at 8 pounds, while Sidney weighs just 7½ pounds.
But despite their pint-sized packaging, all three seem to possess mighty personalities.
Dressed in girly bibs and a pink T-shirt, Kyenna is already a force of nature. When she wants something, "she doesn't cry; she screams right at you," Tessa says.
Dressed in coordinating cocoa-and-green outfits, fraternal twins Sienna and Sidney are already showing different personality traits.
Sienna, nicknamed "Maggie," is laid back, while Sidney, nicknamed "Sweetpea," needs a bit more attention.
Even so, the two little sisters seem to be most content when they're near each other, their parents say.
And, as they get bigger, their parents and grandparents hope the trio will share more than a birthday: They'll also share a special bond.
"One of my girls finally has cousins who are the same age," Tessa says. "They'll be able to do a lot of stuff together."
Adds Jess: "They're going to be best friends."