Pregnant with twins, Fatima Madrigal rested on a bed at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, Calif., On New Years Eve.
She had heard the hospital give a gift basket to the mother who gives birth to the first child of the new year in Monterey County, a kind of competition between the three local hospitals.
“I have better chances than other moms because I have two,” Madrigal, 28, joked with Dr Ana Abril Arias.
“It might be one this year and one next year,” Arias said.
It turns out the doctor was right.
As Madrigal’s three children waited with her partner at their home in Greenfield, a farming town about a 30-minute drive south of Salinas, a team of doctors and nurses prepared for the birth.
At 11:30 p.m., Madrigal started pushing.
The mood inside the room was calm and focused, Arias said. Since twin births carry a higher risk, the team included labor and delivery nurses, neonatal intensive care nurses, anesthesiologists and two other doctors.
After about 15 minutes, Madrigal gave birth to a baby boy weighing 6 pounds 1 ounce at 11:45 p.m.
With the umbilical cord cut, the nurses lay the newborn baby against Madrigal’s chest.
Ten minutes later, Madrigal handed over her baby boy and at 11:59 p.m. she had the urge to push again.
As Arias gaze fixed on Madrigal and the arriving child, she heard a cheer and a scream in the hallway, nurses shouting, “Happy New Year!” Arias glanced at the heart monitor and his clock.
Seconds later, Madrigal gave birth to a daughter weighing 5 pounds 14 ounces at exactly midnight.
The room erupted with excitement. Some turned to Arias, praising her on her prediction. But she turned away and said it was all a joke.
The hospital said in a statement that even with 120,000 twin births in the United States each year, or about 3% of all births, the odds of a couple being born in different years is 1 in 2. millions. It happened in 2019 and 2020 to a mother of twins in Carmel, Ind.
“I gave birth to twins, but never to different twins with a different day, month and year,” Arias said.
Amid the excitement, the twins, born at opposite ends of a bridge between year and year, were lying on Madrigal’s chest as she rested.
Madrigal and his partner named the boy Alfredo Antonio Trujillo, after his partner’s grandfather. The girl’s name was Aylin Yolanda Trujillo – Yolanda, named after her partner’s mother, and Aylin, a name with a sound that Madrigal found beautiful.
The pregnancy had been a surprise to Madrigal and her partner, and with the twins’ due date Jan. 16, the birth of their auspicious New Years was also a surprise.
“It’s crazy to me that they’re twins and have different birthdays,” Madrigal said. “I was surprised and happy that she arrived at midnight.”
The next day, she returned home, where her three older children, two daughters and a son, were waiting for her with her partner.
Arias briefly communicated with the family before going to sleep after her New Years shift. Between the holiday schedule and a recent surge of COVID-19 patients, it would take a few more days before she could rest on her weekends. -end, but she still tried to find time to think it over.
“I think this is definitely the most memorable case I have had in my career,” Arias said. “Just during the pandemic, which has been very difficult, it is such a privilege for me to deliver mothers and babies here safely. I am honored to have been there.