- When I was pregnant with twins, I assumed they would be born just minutes later.
- My twins had different plans and baby B was born two hours after baby A was born.
- It was after midnight so they have different birthdays.
“Wait! Where are you going? There’s another one in there,” I pleaded worriedly to the doctor on call, a man I’d never met before who had just given birth to Baby A and was now preparing to leave the room.
I wasn’t prepared for his answer. “I know. That might take a while,” he said. As he grabbed his keys to leave, he said it could take anywhere from 10 minutes to three hours for the other baby to be born.
Weeks earlier, my gynecologist had told me that both babies would be placed upside down, so I could try vaginal delivery as long as I understood the risks. She told me that sometimes Baby B enjoys the new extra space a little too much, rolls over and needs a cesarean. She warned me about the possibility of recovery from either type of delivery. She didn’t warn me about the possibility that Baby B might be stubborn.
They were born on different days
We had arrived at the hospital just before 10pm that evening and just 90 minutes later baby A – Colin – was now safely on my chest. His delivery was a whirlwind, fast and without intervention.
Baby B – Libby – had other ideas. She had no intention of sharing her birthday with anyone. The nurses tried to help her move forward by first prescribing drugs to induce labor and then taking additional measures. Libby lasted as long as she could – almost two and a half hours – before finally arriving just before 2 am the next day.
My husband and I always thought the twins would be born minutes apart, not hours, let alone hours spanning days. We later discovered headline-grabbing stories of twins whose births before and after midnight spanned different months, different years, or even different millennia.
Having twins with different birthdays is not common and therefore can cause confusion from time to time. When it comes to paperwork—like enrolling in school or making an appointment with a doctor—we’re often asked if we made a mistake in entering our date of birth.
Her birth shows how different their personalities are
What we love most about Colin and Libby’s birth story — and what we couldn’t know at this point — is how much it reveals about who they are. To this day, her birth story is an example of her unique personality.
Colin is competitive. He wants to be fast and be first. Of our three children he can be the most relaxed. We became friends for a short time after he was born, before going into labor and for the next two hours he slept peacefully in a cradle next to the delivery room. I’m not even sure if all the nurses noticed he was there. He’s still our best sleeper.
Libby is independent. She likes to do things her own way, at her own pace. She never wants to be rushed. I always dreamed of having a strong willed daughter, but I never imagined that she would be so strong willed from birth.
Libby tells her brothers what to do with complete conviction, but she gets nervous trying new things on her own. One night, when the twins were almost out of their cribs, we watched on the monitor as she sat securely in her bed and gave Colin step-by-step instructions on how to climb out. “Be careful, Collie,” she whispered, “and don’t hurt yourself.” I sometimes like to think of them having a similar conversation in the womb the night Colin was born.
As a parent of twins, one often worries and wonders whether one is doing enough to make each one feel recognized as an individual and whether one is giving them space to develop their own true sense of self. We are so lucky to have had this incredible experience that showed us from the start what makes Colin and Libby so special.