Earlier this year, Brandon Savoie had some exciting news to share with his brother, Austin – and as it turns out, Austin soon had his own surprise to share with Brandon.
Several months later, the Luling brothers each welcomed a newborn baby boy into their family, each born less than 24 hours apart.
To be more exact, 23 hours and 40 minutes separated the births of Dean Savoie, son of Brandon and his fiance, Rachael Sunseri, and Rhett Savoie, son of Austin and his wife Lydia.
“Our doctors told us they’ve never, ever heard of a scenario like this,” said Austin. “Brandon called me to let me know they were going to the hospital and so, I’m pumped for him. I’m excited. I told him whenever he needs me, I’m ready. I was set up to go in on Friday.
“As soon as he sends the first pictures of his boy being born, he goes to call me … when we talked, I told him, Brandon, I’m gonna have to postpone Friday. Because we’re going to the hospital right now. ‘You’re lying,’ he said. Nope. I’m not, we’re right behind ya.”
The two brothers describe the past few months as a roller coaster ride, between the news of their respective children on the way, to COVID-19, to multiple systems and storms forming in the Gulf of Mexico, and finally to the birth of their children. While they admit those conditions made it stressful at times, the voices of each convey a proudness and joy over the newest members of their family.
It all began months earlier, when Brandon and Rachael went to Austin and Lydia’s home to share the news that Rachael was pregnant to have the couple’s first child. Later that evening, the latter two learned of their own bundle of joy on the way, the second born to their family.
“We told them first, and then come to find out, ‘We have some good news as well,’” Brandon recalled. “I thought, ‘No way.’ It’s funny, we’ve always joked around about that sibling rivalry, and we were messing around about, ‘Well you just want to have yours first.’”
The next bit of fun was the chance to share the news with Brandon and Austin’s parents, Kerry and Gwen, who would quickly see their count of grandchildren jump from one to three.
“(Austin and Lydia) went first, and I kind of dropped in, ‘Well, it’s gonna be a very busy October for you guys, seeing as you’re going to have three grandchildren,’” Brandon said. “They only had one and just learned one was on the way. I kind of gave my mom a look, and she starts crying. She was over the moon excited.”
Austin added, “She was freaking out. From one to three grandsons, and it would be less than 24 hours apart. What are the odds? It was a miracle.”
The baby boys were initially projected to be delivered about a week apart. But sometimes, fate takes liberties. Brandon and Rachael would spring into action a bit earlier than expected.
“I called him to check up on him, and the next thing I know they tell me, ‘We’re going in right now,’” said Brandon.
Dean was born at 12:43 p.m. on Sept. 28 at West Jefferson Hospital. At 12:22 p.m. the next afternoon, Rhett was welcomed into the world at East Jefferson Hospital.
The two families could not see one another, partially due to timing of course, and also due to COVID restrictions at each hospital which limited the number of visitors allowed.
It made things a bit different for the brothers and their significant others, who over the previous several months leaned on each other for support during what one might kindly refer to as a tumultuous 2020.
“When (COVID) hit the U.S., everyone’s in a frenzy and nobody’s sure how devastating this thing is gonna be,” Brandon said. “I was going to work, and out of caution I would just sleep on the couch. It was the same with my brother. For awhile, he and I had to house together for the fear of spreading it to our significant others.
“Rachael and Lydia were able to communicate during all of this, and they were going through the same things, same fears. It was good to know they had each other as a support system, outside of us, and it made us feel better about being away.”
Still, they found a way to keep in contact once at the hospital.
“We pretty much Facetimed each other throughout the whole thing,” Austin said.
The odds of the babies being born so close to one another seems to climb even higher when considering that prior to the news Rachael was pregnant, she and Brandon were convinced the couple would not be able to have children. Rachael was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, casting the possibility in doubt.
“We found out (the diagnosis) and at that time, from my standpoint, OK, you just need to be healthy. I’ll take care of you, we’ll make sure you’re healthy,” Brandon said. “If (a child) doesn’t happen, that’s OK. Just when we accepted that, that’s just when we found out. We were celebrating after we bought a house, and that night she took a test – and we got the news right there.”
Said Austin, “It’s just very special. I’m looking forward to seeing them grow up together. My oldest boy is 19 months apart from them. They’re all gonna grow up together.”