Pairs of twins are always asked the same question: “So, which one of you is older?”
The joke is that while they were born the same day, one of them inevitably came out first—even if it was just a few minutes before their sibling, they still get to claim they’re the “older” brother or sister, with all the authority that entails.
But for twin brothers Roman and Samuel Petersen, the question of who’s older and younger is … complicated.
Emily and Seth Peterson gave birth to the twins a year ago, in the early hours of November 6, 2016. The couple, from West Barnstable, Massachusetts, made the delivery at Cape Cod Hospital.
Samuel was born first, then Ronan arrived about a half hour later. The delivery was a success, and both boys were born happy and healthy. The doctors at the hospital recorded their birth times.
Everything seemed to be in order … but then the doctors discovered an irregularity, something they had never seen before.
“Our veteran maternity nurse, Deb Totten, said it was the first time she has seen it in more than 40 years of nursing,” the hospital’s president Michael K. Lauf told ABC News.
They told the Petersens that there was a mix-up with their twins…
They told them that while Samuel was born first, Ronan was actually older.
Confused? Here’s the crazy but true story:
Samuel was born at 1:39 a.m. Ronan was born 31 minutes later, at 2:10 a.m.
Or at least it would’ve been 2:10 a.m. … if Daylight Saving’s Time hadn’t just ended.
In between their births, the clocks were officially set back an hour at 2 a.m. The doctors had to record the exact time of birth—so technically, Ronan was born at 1:10 a.m. … making him legally a half hour older than his actually older brother.
The parents were blown away by the twist:
“My husband was the first to say it, ‘Here’s a riddle for you!'” Emily recalled to ABC News.
“It literally took me a day to wrap my head around it.”
Dad was less surprised—he suspected that the upcoming “Fall behind” might factor into his sons’ birth times.
“I said earlier that night that they were either going to be born on two different days or the time change was going to come into play,” he told Cape Cod Hospital.
But the hospital staff was stunned—they had never seen anything like this, but were thrilled it happened in their facility.
“The Peterson twins’ birth story was a remarkable occurrence,” Lauf told ABC News. “It’s a pleasure to have such a positive story at our hospital about a wonderful young couple who will have a great tale for their sons.”
It’s an unbelievable story—one that Samuel and Ronan will inevitably be explaining for the rest of their lives.
Mom just hopes it doesn’t start any arguments between them:
“I personally think it’s kind of cool that one’s ‘older’ and one’s born first,” Emily said.