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Three sisters deliver babies back-to-back-to-back

Emily, Kelli-Ann and Melissa Frate were supposed to give birth in that order. Instead, the order was flipped. (Courtesy Tammy Standup)

By: Darya MarchenkovaThe Eastern Door


Emily Frate rushed down the hospital hallway in her gown, making it just in time to watch her sister Melissa Frate give birth to Mila.

Nine hours later, they switched places. Melissa headed to Emily’s room to watch her give birth to Ietsi’tsatenníharons.

Meanwhile, Kelli-Ann Frate was already discharged at home with her baby Dominic, born less than two days before in the same hospital.

The three sisters unexpectedly gave birth within 44 hours of one another last week, inspiring them to refer to the three babies as corn, beans and squash.

Kelli-Ann, the youngest sister, was the first to be admitted to the hospital on July 31. She was having supper with her mom when the contractions started. Several hours after they got to the hospital, Kelli-Ann had what she called an easy birth.

“My water was like a movie. You know how they exaggerate the water break? I got one of those,” she said, laughing. “Ten minutes later he was born.”

Melissa came into the hospital to be with Kelli-Ann the night she gave birth. She was already expecting to give birth herself soon.

“It actually scared me because I realized what I was walking into within a few short days. Watching her cry about contractions and her yell and watching her push out the baby, it actually gave me a panic attack,” Melissa said.

Then, to Kelli-Ann’s surprise, Melissa was back early in the morning with contractions of her own. Kelli-Ann just had to walk down the hallway to watch Melissa give birth. She brought her son Dominic right into the room for part of the birth.

The sisters plan to send the children to school together in Kahnawake. (Courtesy Tammy Standup)
The sisters plan to send the children to school together in Kahnawake. (Courtesy Tammy Standup)

“You know how different it is to give birth than to see a birth? Giving birth is different, I don’t see nothing. But seeing it is intense. I got sympathy pains and cramps from watching it,” said Kelli-Ann.

The experience filled Kelli-Ann’s eyes with tears. “Her birth was my first birth that I witnessed. I had given birth twice but it’s not the same. It was a very special moment.”

Emily, the oldest sister, had already been admitted to the hospital hours before. She was scheduled to go into induced labour. That meant Kelli-Ann was switching back and forth between Melissa and Emily’s rooms, checking on Emily as her contractions were monitored. She went home soon after.

When Emily heard that Melissa was down the hall close to delivering, she called for the nurse to take off her monitor.

“I just kept calling them and I’m like, I really don’t want to miss my niece being born. So finally they came and I just made it. She gave birth five minutes after I got into her room,” Emily said.

“Even though I’ve been through it twice, it still kind of scared me,” Emily said of watching Melissa deliver Mila. “But everything went well.”

The sisters went through their pregnancies together, with each one saying they enjoyed being able to share what they were going through. But their due dates were spaced out over more than a week.

On top of corn, beans and squash, the family compared the three babies to another food: ice cream.

“My son is fairly dark. My sister’s is like more of a white skin, and then my other sister’s had a pink skin. So we called them Neapolitan ice cream,” Kelli-Ann said of the first time all three sisters met up with the newborns.

The hope, they all agreed, is for the children to grow up to be close friends.

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