Truax twins

Bridgette Truax and AnnaLeigh Latchaw (left) and Brittney Truax and Damari Young pose for a photo at Meadville Medical Center on Aug. 24, one day after the identical twins gave birth.

After a lifetime of sharing birthdays, identical twins Bridgette and Brittney Truax, 21, now have another birthday to share for the rest of their lives.

The Meadville natives both gave birth on Aug. 23 at Meadville Medical Center: Bridgette and Trevor Latchaw welcomed their daughter, AnnaLeigh Latchaw, at 12:50 a.m.; and Brittney and Daishawn Young welcomed their son, Damari Young, at 3:10 p.m.

“We didn’t plan it or anything,” Brittney said last week.

“You never hear about it — twins going in together,” Bridgette said. “Our family said me and her will go on the same day and I just never believed them.”

The coincidence seemed unlikely at first, the two women said.

When they learned they were pregnant in late December, doctors first estimated their due dates would be about two weeks apart — first Bridgette, then Brittney. Over the next few months, that estimate was reduced to a week apart.

When Bridgette’s doctors decided to induce her labor a week earlier than her due date, it seemed like the double delivery was off the table. But about an hour after Bridgette delivered, her sister called to let her know she was on her way to the hospital, too.

“She was in there first,” Brittney said. “I ended up telling her I was going in and she told all the nurses I was on the way in.”

“The whole unit was amazed,” Bridgette said.

Family members had been predicting it since learning both were pregnant. The twins look so much alike, they both said, that even family members often mix them up or refer to them as “Twin” rather than their given name — despite the fact that Brittney is three minutes older than her sister and Bridgette has a gap between her top front teeth that is not mirrored in Brittney’s smile.

“It makes me unique,” Bridgette said.

The issue of defining one’s own individuality, often problematic for siblings of any type, can be all the more important for identical twins.

“We hated being twins growing up,” Bridgette said.

The resentment could be traced all the way to the day they were born.

“Just sharing everything” was the problem, Bridgette said. “We didn’t start getting along until we both moved out.”

While the sisters get along well together now, sharing birthday parties was a particular source of annoyance when they were younger, Brittney said.

As for the two new cousins who share a birthday, they typically see each other two or three times a week and they get along well.

“I think they’ll be best friends,” Bridgette said. Her 1 1/2-year-old son has a cousin nearly the same age, and the two of them get along terrifically, she said.

“They’ll just grow up together kind of like me and Brittney were,” Bridgette said, “but they won’t share everything.”

There’s one thing in particular they won’t share, the sisters added: birthday parties.

“He’s going to have his own,” Brittney said of Damari, a sentiment Bridgette echoed with regard to AnnaLeigh.

“We had our baby showers together,” Brittney said, “but the birthday parties we’re going to have separate.”

Mike Crowley can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at mcrowley@meadvilletribune.com.

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