It’s safe to say Indie Mae and Ryatt Rae are as close as two babies can get without being twins, and without belonging to the same parents. Ryatt’s mom, Corey Struve Talbott, and Indie’s mom, Katie Struve Morgan, both found out they were pregnant about two weeks apart from each other, and nine months later, they were giving birth to Indie and Ryatt in neighboring hospital rooms at almost the exact same time. Corey said the two girls, at just 1 year old, are extremely close and already showing signs of a lifelong bond that’s usually reserved for twins.
It makes sense that Indie and Ryatt will be close because their moms, sisters Corey and Katie, are close too. Corey said they jokingly call themselves “sticky sisters” because they’ve always stuck together. Now that tradition of closeness carries on with their adorable daughters, who they lovingly refer to as “twin cousins.” To celebrate the experience of being pregnant and giving birth together, Corey and Katie had a double maternity shoot in matching turquoise dresses in 2016.
Because it would have been a completely missed opportunity not to, they recently recreated the photo shoot at the suggestion of their photographer — Brenden Boggs with So Cute Photo — and the resulting photos are lovely and perfect. Corey spoke about what it’s like to go through the wild experience of pregnancy alongside a sibling and close friend, and how her daughter Ryatt and niece Indie are already bonded for life.
This was my sister’s third baby and my second, and we actually didn’t really plan it at all. A couple days before Christmas 2015 I was like, Oh, I think I might be pregnant, and she’s like, Well, go take a pregnancy test. It was positive. And my sister, a few minutes later, was like, ‘Well, you’re not gonna believe this, but I am pregnant too, and I was going to surprise the family.’ We ended up surprising all of our family on Christmas and told them that we were both pregnant. It was pretty awesome.
We were weeks apart originally. I was going to be a repeat C-section. Her due date was around the 10th of August, and my C-section was always scheduled for two weeks later. The morning that my sister was about to deliver Indie, I went into labor. We have the same doctor, and the doctor told me, ‘Why don’t you come in, you’re going to come see your sister anyway, we’ll check you out and if you’re in labor, I’m going to do your C-section today.’
We ended up going in to start my C-section when the nurses came running into the room and grabbed the doctor, and then she literally ran out to catch my niece, Indie. My sister ended up delivering 15 minutes right before me. We had the same hospital, same doctor, and ended up even having rooms right next to each other. We were in rooms 2209 and 2210 — we had the babies’ little hospital cribs next to each other.
It was one of the greatest things to be pregnant at the same time as my sister. We still can’t believe how lucky we were to be able to do that together. It’s so nice for moral support, for gaining the weight, the aches, the pains — it made it just that much better to share it together.
It probably also helped out relationships with our husbands too because we got to complain about it to each other and not bug them all the time. She and I are really close anyway, so this just made it that much better. I can’t imagine getting pregnant again without her!
One of the best things about it was after the babies were born, the recovery. It was so nice to be able to share and know what she was going through, the sleepless nights, everything. One thing that was really great for me was that Ryatt had difficulty breastfeeding, and my sister actually made way too much milk. She helped me with my milk supply, and helped me try to build my supply up, and backed me up with extra milk she made for Indie. That meant a lot to me, that she was doing that for Ryatt.
We coordinated their names — Ryatt Rae and Indie Mae. They’ve been together since day one and they have a really cute little bond — almost like twins the way they act and react to each other. They’re really natural with each other, you can tell they definitely know each other almost like sisters.
They often do things on the same day, like they stood the other day on the same day; it’s like they copy each other. They share, they’ll hang out in their little playpen together, they’ll pass their snacks back and forth, they do little baby babbletalk to each other that’s really cute.
Our photographer took the original maternity photos, and she was like, “Why don’t you wear your dresses and we’ll do a remake?” We pulled out the dresses and had the flower crowns remade and everything. It turned out cuter than I actually thought it was going to turn out. The girls did so well.
We just did their first birthday together and we made a joke that they’re going to have to do these photos every year until they’re 18. They’re going to start school together, they’re going to do everything together their whole lives. They really are like little twin sisters.