In what experts have described as 'almost unheard of' in two generations, an identical twin has given birth to her own set of identical twins. Michelle Cook, 33, who has a twin sister, Sarah, couldn't believe it when the doctors said she was pregnant with twins. She said: ‘I couldn’t believe it when the sonographer said that I was pregnant with twins. Then to find out that I was pregnant with identical twins was just unbelievable. I rang my identical twin Sarah and told her and she just screamed down the phone. She couldn't believe it either.’

The odds of having identical twins is about 3 in 1,000. The 33-year-old who lives in Cobham, Surrey, and also has daughter Evie, gave birth to Elsie and Marni in September. The twins were delivered by Caesarean in September at the Kingston Hospital in Surrey, Marnie weighing a healthy 5Ib 2oz, and Elsie weighing 4Ib 7oz.

They looked so alike when they were born, she even painted Marnie’s fingernail pink so she could tell them apart. Mrs Cooke hopes that her twin girls will be as close as she and her sister, who has two children Oliver, four, and Poppy, two, with her fiance James Griggs, 41.

‘Sarah and I were so close when we were growing up and we still have that really special close bond. We would swap classes at school and swap clothes at parties to confuse people, and even our boyfriends. ‘We think like each other too - we will often finish each others sentences, and we have the same tastes in clothes and furniture. ‘Our own mother can’t even tell us apart still sometimes, especially on the phone. 'I’d love my girls to have that closeness too. An identical twin bond is a really emotional bond to have and I’m thrilled that my daughters will experience it too. ‘When I tell people that I’m an identical twin and I’ve just given birth to identical twins, they can’t quite believe it.’

A spokeswoman for The Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) said: ‘Identical twins don’t run in families and are spontaneous occurrences so for an identical twin to go on to give birth to identical twins herself is incredibly rare.’