Kerry Harwood and younger sisters Jodie and Carla Manning grew up doing absolutely everything together.
With just under three years separating eldest sibling Kerry, 29, and the youngest, Carla, 27, the girls have been there for each other through all of the major milestones in their lives.
But even they were stunned to discover that they'd all fallen pregnant within weeks of each other. The trio from Kent were delighted when their little ones all arrived within seven weeks.
"I don't think life will ever be calm again now that we have our hands full with three new babies," Jodie says. "But we're enjoying every second of it, especially since we all went through our pregnancies together."
Jodie, 28, already mum to Taila, six, was the first to make her announcement in August last year: "As soon as I found out I called Carla. When I broke the news, she seemed more excited than I was.
"At first I was confused but then she let me into a secret – she was pregnant too. We both screamed, we couldn't believe it!"
Like Jodie, Carla was also expecting her second baby – her son Codee is just one – with her partner, Wayne. And it wasn't long before the pregnant sisters received another surprise.
"The whole family was still on a high from Jodie and Carla's announcement when, incredibly, I discovered that I was expecting too," says big sister Kerry.
"My husband James and I already have three children – Jaya, nine, Isara, seven, and Harlon, two – but we'd been hoping to expand our brood. When it turned out that I'd fallen pregnant just weeks short of my sisters, it seemed like it was meant to be."
Carla adds: "People have joked that we must have timed it this way but we really couldn't have planned it any better."
For the next nine months, the sisters shared every step. They attended Jodie's gender scan, compared bump sizes and swapped hints on morning sickness.
"When the nurse told me I was having a girl, Carla and Kerry were there in the room celebrating with me," says Jodie. "It was an incredible moment, made only better by the fact I could share it."
Carla says: "We were constantly on the phone to each other discussing sleepless nights and weird cravings. We were all absolutely ravenous and I think our local takeaways and supermarkets must have seen a huge rise in their profits."
New mum Carla was actually walking around Sainsbury's in April when she went into labour. Luckily she was shopping with their mum, Julia, who had flown in from the US for the births of her three grandchildren.
"It was great news for Mum that we ended up with synchronised pregnancies as it meant she could be there for all of us,' says Carla, who welcomed her second son, Laelan, into the world on 7 April, weighing 7lb 1oz.
Jodie and Kerry were at her bedside to meet the first new addition to the family. And just 11 days later, the trio were reunited at the maternity ward of William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, for the arrival of Laici, when Jodie gave birth on 18 April.
Kerry had to wait another month before her daughter Evarna arrived three days early on 28 May.
Now the three sisters, who live just minutes from one another, are adjusting to life with their new little ones. "It's amazing. They're more like triplets than cousins," says Jodie. "I love that they will be able to look out for each other just like we did."
By Lucy Needham
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