Yael and Avital
Yael and Avital Shaare Zedek

Nurses at Shaare Zedek Medical Center rubbed their eyes to make sure they were not mistaken: Identical twin sisters, both pregnant with their fourth babies, both with the same due date, gave birth at Shaare Zedek on the same day.

The identical twins, Yael Yishai (31), a programmer who lives in Gush Etzion; and Avital Segal, an accountant, also from Gush Etzion, both have three children - two girls and a boy.

On Monday night, Yael, who was born a few minutes before her sister, arrived at Shaare Zedek after her waters broke. A few hours later, she gave birth. The next afternoon, Avital began feeling contractions, and arrived at the hospital, where she told the staff that a few hours earlier, her identical twin had given birth.

Avital said, "The amazing nurses noticed the excitement and immediately asked for my sister's name, so that they could put us in the same room in the maternity ward. After long hours in the delivery room, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The staff went above and beyond to make the process easier for me. After the birthing process was finished, they made sure to take me up to be next to my sister."

Yael added, "Birth is a special and emotional event. I am very happy to share it with a good friend who is also a sister. It was fun being together in the room, with our new babies. In the past, we merited to give birth six weeks apart, for our third births, and this will be our second maternity leave together."

Rina Dvir and Efrat Herling, head midwives at Shaare Zedek, said: "In the delivery room, we, the midwives, are in an unending circle of creating life and family, and that is our motto. So when two sisters, identical twins, give birth, we rejoice in their double happiness. Most of the babies in the city are born here, and we feel ourselves part of one big family, in our roles here in the largest birthing center in Israel. The births went well, with healthy babies, and we wish them and their families a double congratulations and much health, contentment, and happiness."