Probably the most common question twin siblings get is “who’s older?”
The joke, of course, is that twins are always virtually the same age—typically born just a few minutes apart. The distinction of older versus younger is meaningless, except for sibling bragging rights.
But it’s a big difference for these twin newborns, who weren’t just born on different days—they were born in different years.
Maria Flores, from Bakersfield, California, was expecting twins, but not so soon—her original due date was January 27, but she was scheduled to give birth via c-section on January 10.
But the babies had other plans, and Flores went into labor on Sunday evening—New Year’s Eve.
At Delano Regional Medical Center in Delano, California, Flores gave birth to the first of the two twins, Joaquin Jr. Ontiveros, at 11:58 p.m.
According to KGET, he was officially the last baby born at the hospital, and in all of Kern County, for 2017.
But things got even crazier when his twin sister arrived less than 20 minutes later.
Aitana de Jesus Ontiveros was born at 12:16 a.m.—not only was she the first local baby born in 2018, she has an entirely different birth year than her twin “older brother.”
That’s a pretty cool coincidence, and will give these twins their very own birthdays and a great conversation starter for the rest of their lives.
The phenomenon of twins being born in different years isn’t unheard of (and it’s not quite as headspinning as the twins born on opposite sides of Daylight Savings), but it’s still pretty rare. The authors of The Book of Odds place the odds of occurrence at about 1 in 59,200.
It was certainly the first time anyone at the hospital had seen something like this.
“I’ve been in the practice for almost 30 plus years,” Dr. Seyed Tamjidi, who delivered the twins, told KGET. “I’ve never had the opportunity to do anything like that before.”
Flores, already a mother of three girls between the ages of 6 and 18, was reportedly caught off guard by the twins’ early arrival—she thought she’d have more time to shop for the newborns.
Luckily, the unlikely timing comes with a cool perk. Delano Regional Medical Center has a tradition of giving gifts to the year’s first born baby, which is Aitana.