Two healthy twin babies were recently welcomed to the world at San Diego Kaiser Permanente Zion Medical Center just minutes apart from one another—one at 11:59 on Dec. 31, 2015, and the other at 12:02 on Jan. 1, 2016. Thanks to some exceptional timing, that means the baby girl (Jaelyn) and boy (Luis) technically have different birthdays.
Parents Luis and Maribel Valencia were thrilled to add to a family that already includes three-year-old Isabella. The former is a diesel mechanic with the United States Navy, and the latter is a cashier at the San Diego International Airport. They were well aware of the special timing surrounding the latest additions.
“We were actually watching the clock,” Luis told NBC San Diego. “We wanted to see if we were one of the first ones.”
But with the different years of birth, the family is also anticipating some practical consequences down the road.
“[Maribel] really wanted to have the babies on the same birthday because you know later on in the years, they’re going to have a little confrontation and be like, ‘my birthday came first,’ so it means two birthday parties, back to back,” Luis added.
Though both twins emerged healthy, they were born ahead of schedule. The Valencias were originally scheduled for a cesarean-section on Jan. 6, but some complications required them to be delivered well in advance.
“Junior was breeched,” Luis explained.
Several hours of labor reportedly ensued, but fortunately there were no serious problems.
“It was around midnight, and she was just popping out,” Luis said. “It was crazy seeing her little head pop out first.”
Jaelyn weighed in at four pounds, 15 ounces, and Luis was slightly heavier at five pounds, nine ounces. Both were 18.5 inches long.
Kaiser spokeswoman Jennifer Dailard described the results as, “A great, healthy weight for preemies.”
Mother and newborns alike are all reportedly doing well.
“It’s very unusual and it’s very special,” noted nurse Lynnette Coetzee, “and I haven’t seen it in all my 34 years of nursing.”
Like the Valencias, Coetzee couldn’t help but speculate about the twins’ future relationship.
“I think she’s the little girl,” Coetzee added. “She’s gonna be pulling rank the whole time because she’s gonna be the older one. He’s gonna have a hard time living that down.”
NBC San Diego notes that a number of other babies were born in the early moments of 2016 across the city.
Harvey was born to Chula Vista couple Rebecca and John Gillman at 12:35 a.m at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. Another child was born was 12:59 a..m at Scripps Hospital in Encinitas. And Lucas John Squires greeted parents Lisa G. Irwin and Joshua D. Squires at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD). Both Irwin and Squires are active duty service members in the U.S. Navy.
For the Valencias’ part, their twins’ arrival came as something of a surprise. The couple was actually on its way to a New Year’s Eve party in Los Angeles, but a doctor called them with concerns and advised them to go to the hospital instead. While the option of a cesarean section had been floated, Valencia was originally due to give birth on Jan. 27.
The parents considered the birth a “blessing,” but—as Forbes notes—there is one slight drawback to the latter twin’s 2016 arrival.
“In other words, assuming all of the other criteria is met, baby Jaelyn would be considered a dependent for 2015 – and little Luis would not,” explains Forbes’ Kelly Phillips Erb.
Erb notes that the family, “could likely benefit from the extra exemption in 2015: the amount you can deduct in 2015 is $4,000.”
Fortunately, occasions like these aren’t all about dollars and cents. We’re guessing the Valencias wouldn’t have had things any other way.