ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — An Abilene mom’s birth story is anything but usual after a rare situation caused her identical twins to be born three days apart.

Carmen Martinez knew her pregnancy would be different when she learned she was having twins. All her preparation turned to fear when they found the girls would be born prematurely during a routine check-up.

Mom and dad early on in pregnancy

“Just hearing them saying, she’s going in right away. We knew something was wrong,” says Martinez.

She was admitted on February 28, and her water broke that night, but she wouldn’t give birth for another week.

“I delivered Gabby, had a natural birth with her, and got wheeled right back in,” says Martinez.

Baby number 2 wasn’t ready quite yet, so she went back to her room determined to delay delivery for as long as possible on her doctor’s advice.

“I really didn’t know how to comprehend what just happened – I’m like I just had a baby and I’m still pregnant,” Martinez says.

“The more time that we can give each baby in the uterus is better at this early gestational age,” says Dr. Len Tadvick, Hendrick Health OBGYN.

Tadvick delivered the girls and says this phenomenon is quite rare.

“[I’ve only seen this] one other time in my career. It’s very uncommon,” Tadvick says.

For 3 days Martinez stayed in bed, enduring the discomfort and pain for the growth of her baby.

Visiting Gabriella in NICU while pregnant with Isabella

“From a 1 to 10 I’d say the pain was 100. . .as long as they were okay that’s all that mattered to me,” Martinez says.

Though she did take some time to visit Gabriella in the NICU when she was allowed.

“They were like ‘what are you doing here why are you here — you’re still pregnant’ but I had to see her just for comfort,” says Martinez.

That sacrifice would prove worth it on March 10 when mom and dad said hello to 1-pound, 8-ounce Isabella Rose Hernandez. Martinez says the sight of her girls together was overwhelmingly powerful.

“It was a new kind of love that I experienced holding them together,” says Martinez.

A day made even more special for father John Hernandez, as March 10 is his birthday too.

“I was 36 when I had Gabby, and I was 37 when I had Isabella,” Hernandez says.

Now the proud parents are full of hope at the thought of bringing the girls home. Ready to watch them grow and everything that comes along with it.

Meeting Big brother for the first time

“I’m looking forward to the long nights. Like baby girls — just cry, just laugh, just do whatever y’all want because it’s a blessing to know that’s coming,” says Martinez.

Looking forward also to seeing the girls get to know their big brother, and though Martinez says he was skeptical at first, she knows he’s ready to have them at home.

“Now that he has met them, he has just been on cloud 9. He’s ready for them to come home. He’s ready to be the big brother that I know he can be,” Martinez says.

A truly awe-inspiring thing for all involved, Dr. Tadvick sings the praises of his colleagues at Hendrick, acknowledging the miracle they all took part in.

“There’s a point where you use everything you’ve been given and it’s just up to God. He’s got it,” Tadvick says.

Gabby and Isabella continue to grow and the Martinez family is hopeful to go to home soon!