Maternity Loves Company

updated 04/13/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/13/1998 AT 01:00 AM EDT

ON MARCH 11, ERNIE CAREY TOLD his computer science class at Utah Valley State College that two of his daughters had given birth in the last several hours. "What's the probability," asked the proud grandfather, "of my third daughter giving birth on the same day?" With that his cell phone rang. Carey took the call from his wife, Lynn, then threw his hands in the air. "Number three is in labor! Class dismissed!"

Despite nearly impossible odds, sisters Karralee Morgan, 28, Marrianne Asay, 27, and Jennifer Hone, 24, of Orem, Utah, all gave birth on the same day. Though Karralee was due last (April 4), she went into labor first, at 4:45 a.m. Before her husband, contractor Sam Morgan, drove her to the hospital, Karralee, assistant vice-president at a bank, called her sisters to apologize. "I was hoping they would go first because they'd been having some problems with false labor and back pains," she says. "I called Marrianne and said, 'My water broke—don't hate me.' "

At 7:18 a.m., Karralee gave birth to her first child, son Camaron Scott Morgan. Just hours later, Marrianne, a homemaker married to software engineer Dale Asay, went into labor also—much to her chagrin. "I didn't want to interfere with Karralee's big moment," she says. At 3:25 p.m., she had her big moment: a second child, Dallin Michael Asay. Exhausted by the excitement, Jennifer, a secretary, left her sisters at American Fork Hospital and went home to nap—until she awoke to contractions. At 8:58 p.m., with husband Lynn Hone, a college student, by her side, she gave birth to their second daughter, Sera McKell Hone, at nearby Columbia Timpanogos Regional Hospital.

For the moment, the sisters have had their fill of fertility. Their younger sister Noreen, 20, married in January. "We can only hope we've scared her off for a bit," says Marrianne. "Three newborns in one family is plenty for now."

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