Two hours apart: Israeli sisters give birth next door to each other

Ruth Ben-Lulu and Liraz Bitan say they found out simultaneously of their pregnancies, but didn't expect to be told they would both be giving birth so close to one another

Ilana Curiel|
Two Israeli sisters last week gave birth two hours apart from one another and in adjacent hospital rooms in a unique delivery, a local hospital said.
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  • Ruth Ben-Lulu and Liraz Bitan discovered that they were pregnant at the same time, and while they knew they would give birth within the same time frame, they had no idea the difference would be a matter of hours.
    “We went through the entire pregnancy together. Checkups, follow-ups, we even have the same gynecologist, Dr. Andrei Kraynin,” Ben-Lulu said. “When we arrived at his office for a check up a few days ago, he sent us both to the hospital right away. So, we picked up our mother and drove there together. We were sent from the ER to the delivery rooms.”
    Both of the sisters were cared for by the same midwife, Shlomit Harlev, who moved from one room to another at the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva.
    Bitan, the younger sister, gave birth to her second daughter first, followed by Ben-Lulu, who gave birth to her fourth daughter.
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    המיילדת שלומית הרלב עם האחיות רות בן לולו ולירז ביתן מנתיבות
    המיילדת שלומית הרלב עם האחיות רות בן לולו ולירז ביתן מנתיבות
    Liraz Bitan, Shlomit Harlev and Ruth Ben-Lulu
    (Photo: Rachel David, Soroka Medical Center)
    “They had the same dilation pace and were progressing with delivery at the same pace,” Harlev said. “I had a feeling that at some point Ruth began taking charge as the older sister. She gave her younger sister the chance to give birth first, and it felt like she was protecting her.”
    While the two were staying in separate delivery rooms, they remained in touch via WhatsApp messaging app and video calls. “We kept asking Shlomit, our midwife, how the other one was doing.” Liraz said.
    “It was a unique experience,” Harlev said. “I truly felt the pair's bond, and how close and supportive they were to each other. It’s not every day I have the privilege to guide two sisters like these through delivery.”
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