Hailing from Arizona, Holly and Brandon Shay have been married since October 2015. On the surface, they are a normal couple. After all, Brandon started his own construction and restoration company in 2005, while Holly is a choreographer and dance instructor. Nevertheless, something very unusual happened to them and their newborn babies.
In early 2016 the Shays already had two daughters, one of whom was aged four and the other 13. But Holly and Brandon soon discovered that their family was set to expand further. Yes, the delighted couple got quite a shock when they heard that they would be having twins.
What’s more, the couple were going to have twin boys to match their two girls. In fact, the hitherto outnumbered Brandon even joked about the new arrivals being “welcome testosterone in the family.” But while having twins is in itself pretty special, it’s what happened on the day that they arrived that made it even more so.
But it all started normally enough. After all, Holly went into a regular labor 35 weeks in the pregnancy. Her husband therefore rushed her to Banner Thunderbird Medical Centre in Glendale, Arizona, at around 5:30 p.m. Naturally, staff were there waiting to help deliver the twins.
And it was all over pretty quickly. Indeed, Holly endured a six-hour labor, late into the evening, with Brandon and the medical staff at her side. “I wanted to make sure he [the first baby] was okay, and they had to keep reminding me that I had to push,” Holly said.
The first of the twins, named Sawyer, emerged at 11:51 p.m., quickly followed by the second boy, Everett. “It was a perfect birth,” Holly told The Arizona Republic in January 2017. Yes, Holly and Brandon were absolutely delighted with the safe arrival of their babies. “I got to cut the cord. That was awesome,” Brandon said.
The boys are fraternal twins, meaning that they are not identical. In fact, they were different sizes. The first baby, Sawyer Matthew Shay, was slightly heavier than his brother at five pounds and five ounces, whereas Everett Jackson Shay weighed four pounds and eight ounces. But that wasn’t the only difference.
Indeed, little Everett was actually slightly taller than Sawyer when he arrived. Still, Holly and Brandon knew that it was likely the twins wouldn’t be physically exactly the same. However, they didn’t expect their boys to have one other major thing separating them: their birth dates.
Almost all twins, of course, share the same birthday. But not this special little pair. Remember how little Sawyer was born at 11:51 p.m., with Everett appearing shortly afterward? Well, according to their dad, Everett “was a little bit more stubborn so he wasn’t born until 12:01 a.m.”
This means, then, that the boys have different birthdays. By itself, this may be a pretty rare occurrence among twins, especially when there are only ten minutes separating them. But there’s an even bigger twist in the tale of Sawyer and Everett Shay…
Because what we didn’t mention is that Holly Shay went into labor on the evening of December 31, 2016, just a few hours before 2017 began. So little Sawyer was born in 2016, but Everett was born in 2017 – both, though, to two of the proudest parents in the world.
“They are going to be amazing. They already are. They’ve already left their mark on this world,” Holly said. “We’re both feeling really thankful right now,” added Brandon. “We’ve got these two beautiful gifts from God and couldn’t be happier.”
Naturally, the unusual incident delighted all the doctors at the Banner Thunderbird Medical Centre. It also sparked an online frenzy, with many people expressing their amazement that twins can have birth certificates with different years written on them.
“I have been at Banner for 25 years and I don’t recall this happening in our history,” said hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Ruble. “To have a New Year’s baby who was born just on the other side of the new year, while his twin was born in the year previous.”
There is no way that the Shays could have foreseen this happening or even planned it. “These babies were not born by C-section and they were not induced,” Ruble explained. “As a mother of twins myself, I was so excited to meet these beautiful healthy new babies!”
Incidentally, the doctor who delivered the twins, Dr. Allan Sawyer, was about to retire and said that this was the best way to end a professional career that had spanned some 25 years. Yes, he was delighted that his hospital could claim to have delivered the first baby of the year, Everett Sawyer, at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2017.
Dr. Sawyer told Fox News that he became Facebook friends with the proud parents on the same day as delivering the twins. This ensures that he is now able “to see Sawyer and Everett grow up that way.”
Moreover, a Fox News reporter visited the Shays in hospital and tweeted that Holly and Brandon were doing well. Marcy Jones wrote, “Mom & Dad are tired, but so in love!” This was not the only media appearance that the family have made, though. In fact, they’ve appeared in multiple reports in the U.S. and worldwide.
Most importantly, though, the boys are currently doing well, apparently enjoying snoring and squeaking. Looking to the future, delighted dad Brandon said he expects that Sawyer might give his little brother a tough time. “I think it’s mostly going to be Sawyer teasing Everett over him being the eldest,” he explained.
In fact, Sawyer and Everett Shay were not the only twins born either side of the New Year in the United States. No, at least three other sets of American parents experienced the same weird coincidence this year – one pair each in Georgia, California and Utah, where the twins pictured above were born. Still, there’s no doubt that each of them will always feel particularly special for the rest of their lives.