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Double the baby luck: Sisters share pregnancies together – twice
by Jessica Garcia
Jun 10, 2008 | 2043 views | 2 2 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Jessica Garcia - Paula Burley of Truckee, Calif., left, and Peggy Martin of Sparks bump bellies as they share their second pregnancy together – and it's not the first time. The two sisters previously were pregnant at the same time and gave birth to their first children within three days of each other. Peggy recently gave birth to a son while Paula awaits a Caesarean section on June 22.
Tribune/Jessica Garcia - Paula Burley of Truckee, Calif., left, and Peggy Martin of Sparks bump bellies as they share their second pregnancy together – and it's not the first time. The two sisters previously were pregnant at the same time and gave birth to their first children within three days of each other. Peggy recently gave birth to a son while Paula awaits a Caesarean section on June 22.
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Paula and Troy Burley had been trying to get pregnant for three years.

For Paula's sister and brother-in-law, Peggy and Matt Martin, having a baby wasn't in the cards either – at least at that time.

The Martins were putting off parenthood for a while until they could get their small business off the ground.

"I was working at the (Truckee Meadows) Boys and Girls Club and (Matt) was working part-time (while trying to start a business) and I said, 'This is the worst time, we cannot have children now – we have to wait at least 5 years!' " said Peggy, 31, of Sparks.

But for Paula and Troy, their miracle would come around the time they took a trip to New Orleans for rest and relaxation. She began to suspect she was pregnant because she "didn't feel right" during her vacation. Two days later, much to the couple's disbelief, Paula tested positive on a home pregnancy test.

"I was shaking, I couldn't believe it," she said. "I had to wait until my husband got home and he said, 'It can't be right.' I said, 'I think it's right!' "

"After that many years (of trying), it becomes psychological," said Paula, 33, a Truckee resident.

Meanwhile, Peggy and Matt were trying to start up a residential snow removal business part-time when the Burleys came to share their happy news late one night. The Martins were fast asleep late, so, placing an ultrasound on the kitchen counter, Paula was patient and waited until the next morning. But Peggy said she sensed Paula had become pregnant and began suspecting she was with child herself.

"Every time we talked, everything (Paula) was going through I was feeling emotionally and physically and once she told me I knew (I was pregnant)," Peggy said.

Peggy took a home pregnancy test and waited for a doctor to confirm. Although it was unplanned pregnancy and she felt nervous, it was still something she wanted even if the timing wasn't just right.

"We were going to hold off on the kid thing," she said. "I was nervous, but we had talked about it and I knew I wanted to have kids."

With excitement in the air for the sisters and their parents, Paul and Judy Ackerman, the girls said they became close as they carried their children. Paula was due Oct. 30 but was late and gave birth to Nolan on Nov. 8 while Peggy, due Nov. 11, had her little girl Montana that day.

The bonding would begin again in 2007 when Paula suspected that Peggy was pregnant again.

"I never told you this," Paula said, looking over to Peggy, "but in the middle of September, we came from the playground and I saw Peggy and thought there's something going on and she didn't have to say anything. The kids were outside playing and so I thought, 'I know Peggy's pregnant so I'm going to go into her bathroom and look for a pregnancy test.' "

"You didn't tell me that!" Peggy said, shocked and laughing.

"It's kind of embarrassing, but I was like I know something's going on, so I went in there," Paula confessed. "But I didn't see anything."

That didn't stop Paula from approaching Peggy, whom she said looked "tired." Peggy said she knew she wouldn't be able to hide it any longer.

The Martins' second child was intended, but the Burleys were surprised to learn another bundle of joy was on its way.

Not long after that, Paula announced her second pregnancy, making the girls just less than a month apart in carrying their second babies.

"They had wanted to give up," Peggy said about Paula. "The doctor said their chances (for a second baby) weren't very high and she gave up, but then she was pregnant again."

Both Paula and Peggy agree that having each other for support has been helpful, but it's also made it difficult to be aunts to the other's child. Asked if jealousy ever set in for either sister, they said they believed things worked out the way they were supposed to for everyone in the family.

"There's a part of you that goes, 'Why is it so hard for me?' Paula said. 'Then it's like, it's God's timing and it was meant to be this way and you're supposed to learn that.

"Even growing up, Peggy and I were very different and going through this the first time brought us a lot closer. ...The challenges bring you close."

Now the fond family memories continue. Peggy gave birth to Tucker James Martin on May 31. Both of her births were natural while both of Paula's pregnancies will have resulted in Caesarean sections. Paula is due on June 22.

Judy reflects on her daughters' experience as a miracle.

"When the right time comes, all the pieces of puzzle come together,"

Judy said. "There's a plan and it's out of our hands. With both of them it was certainly evident there was a plan beyond our scope."
Comments
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Judy & Paul Ackerman
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June 12, 2008
Thanks for the article. We enjoyed reading and are so glad to share the story with others. The best things are worth waiting for. Jessica, great job. Appreciate your fine reporting. J & P
mary webster
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September 19, 2013
Hi Judy

Congratulations on your four grandchildren. I am a grandma of 2 girls 3 and nearly 6 years old. Am still living in Hawaii. Was so nice when you came to visit in Mililani. Mary
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