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Cousins begin life hours apart

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Heather Moles and her sister, Ashley Mason, have a lot in common.

Each graduated first in their respective classes at Hurricane High School. Each married preacher's sons, earned doctoral degrees and work for Charleston Area Medical Center.

Tuesday morning, they added one more similarity the whole family is not likely to forget: They had their baby boys hours apart and with the help of the same physician, Dr. Scott Naegele.

Avery James Mason was born at 12:39 a.m. Tuesday. His cousin -- who as of Wednesday afternoon didn't yet have a name -- was born several hours later, at 8 a.m.

"I think it will be so much fun for them," Ashley Mason said from her hospital bed at CAMC Women and Children's Hospital, where she was recovering Wednesday morning. She gently rubbed her newborn's head as she spoke. "We're close to our cousins, but I don't have a cousin that's exactly the same age as me."

Avery is the first child for Ashley and her husband, Jamie. "Baby Moles" is the second son for Heather and husband Matt; he joins big brother Bradley, 5.

The babies were due a week apart, but having the boys at the same time "was not intentional by any stretch," Heather Moles said.

Avery was born before his due date of Easter Sunday. His cousin was born by scheduled Caesarian section.

Coincidentally, their mother, Deanna Arnott of Dunbar, gave birth to her daughters in the same way the girls recently gave birth: a C-section with Moles and natural childbirth with Mason, she said.

"So they both had them the same way that they came into the world," Arnott said.

Because the sisters are health-care professionals, Moles said, they relied on each other's expertise throughout their pregnancies.

Mason, 27, is a physical therapist at CAMC, while Moles, 29, is a pharmacy manager in CAMC's pharmacy at the Urgent Care clinic in Cross Lanes.

Moles went to Mason for questions about back pains, while Mason asked Moles medication-related questions.

"It's been really good to have her," Mason said. "It's been fun to compare. It's good to have someone as close as your sister. We were going through the same thing at the same time."

Arnott is just happy her daughters and grandsons are healthy, she said.

"It's a blessing," she said through tears of joy. "It's wonderful."

The new babies' grandfather, Steve Arnott, couldn't be more proud of his daughters, he said, adding that they've excelled academically and otherwise throughout their lives, he said.

"We never had an ounce of trouble with them growing up -- never," he said. "You always hear about children going through a rebellious stage. Neither one of them did. They were wonderful children."

And what about his daughters having babies on the same day?

"I think it's wonderful, [they'll have] one birthday party," Arnott joked.

That might be a little premature. "I don't know, we haven't even talked about it yet," Moles said.

Mason is glad the two cousins will live near each other and be involved in each other's lives.

"Maybe, some day," she said, "they'll play on the same baseball team."

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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