When Michelle Cooke became pregnant, she could never have imagined that lightening would strike twice.
She joked with her identical twin Sarah that history could repeat itself but was astonished when doctors confirmed she was expecting twins – and that they were identical.
Identical twins is caused by the egg splitting after conception and do not run in families.
Mrs Cooke, 33, who lives in Cobham, Surrey, said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when the sonographer said that I was pregnant with twins.
‘Then to find out that I was pregnant with identical twins was just unbelievable. I rang my identical twin Sarah and told her and she just screamed down the phone. She couldn’t believe it either.’
Mrs Cooke, a receptionist at a private health clinic, was thrilled when she fell pregnant, but she and her husband Pete, 39,were worried about anything going wrong, so went for an early eight week scan.
‘We just wanted to be sure and to check that everything was as it should be. I was in total shock. I was lying on the scanning table and I asked whether she could see a heartbeat,’ she said.
‘She turned to be and said that yes she could. And that actually she could see two heartbeats, which meant I was pregnant with twins.
‘I rang Pete straight away, and he laughed at first because he thought I was joking. But I assured him that it was true and that I was carrying twins.’
A further scan at 12 weeks into her pregnancy revealed that the twins were identical and were sharing a placenta which can lead to complications.
Mrs Cooke said: ‘It was such a relief when they were born healthy and safely. I was thrilled when they arrived. They are incredibly identical, and it is difficult to tell them apart, which is why I painted one of their fingernails pink.’
And Mrs Cooke hopes that her twin girls will be as close as she and her sister, who has two children Oliver, four, and Poppy, two, with her fiance James Griggs, 41.
‘Sarah and I were so close when we were growing up and we still have that really special close bond. We would swap classes at school and swap clothes at parties to confuse people, and even our boyfriends.
‘We think like each other too – we will often finish each others sentences, and we have the same tastes in clothes and furniture.
‘Our own mother can’t even tell us apart still sometimes, especially on the phone.
‘I’d love my girls to have that closeness too. An identical twin bond is a really emotional bond to have and I’m thrilled that my daughters will experience it too.