The phenomenon is thought to be a 4.5 million to one chance for parents Zoe, 38, and Ben Sullivan, 42. The Lossiemouth couple had to induce pregnancy ten weeks early for their second set of twins, Leah and Erin, resulting in them sharing their older sisters’ birthday. Celebrating their birthday on January 25, was ‘manic’ according to the proud mum-of-nine.
Zoe said: “Our family isn’t one in a million, it’s one in thirty million. We had a big day for them all and did more on the weekend. Now all our kids want babies on their birthdays.” It was the start of 2016 when full-time mum Zoe was rushed to from the family home in Lossiemouth, Moray, to Raigmore ʜᴏsᴘɪᴛᴀʟ in Inverness for an ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ᴄ-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. Tiny Erin and Leah were brought into the world on January 25 – exactly the same date that Charlotte and Isabelle were born in 2008. Nᴜʀsɪɴɢ staff were astonished by the coincidence, and the Sullivans couldn’t be happier. Zoe praised ᴍᴇᴅɪᴄᴀʟ sᴛᴀғғ who cared for the ᴘʀᴇᴍᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ babies in the weeks that followed their birth. She said: ” They were fantastic. They were absolutely amazing. It’s really difficult to thank someone for sᴀᴠɪɴɢyour child’s life because they just say it’s their job. But she revealed they could not quite believe it when she told them how significant the date was. She said: ” When they took me down (for the ᴏᴘᴇʀᴀᴛɪᴏɴ) I said, ‘It’s my other twin’s birthday today’. They were like, ‘Really?’ No, really? The first time, I don’t think they really believed it. And then you say no, it really is their birthday.”
Little Leah was tiny at 3lbs4 whilst her sister Erin was just 2lbs6. But they are now thriving with Charlotte and Isabelle on hand to help look after them. Zoe said: ” They weren’t jealous at all about sharing their birthday. They were just over the moon. They went about telling everybody. And then the other children were like ‘Can we have a baby on our birthday?’ But I don’t think I will be able to do that again, that was a complete fluke. They all help to take care of the little ones. But I think with these ones, especially as they were so poorly, and so small, it’s a little bit extra special. They love babies, it’s quite lucky really. And the baby twins are also very, very close to each other, which is quite sweet. When it came to the first joint birthday party, military precision was required.”
Dad Ben said: ” It took a lot of organisation. We got it set up in the evening before and they all lined up at the top of the stairs in the morning. Let’s just say it took a little bit longer than usual trying to keep keep tabs on whose present was whose. And after about ten minutes all of the wrapping paper made it look like a recycling centre. We didn’t have a birthday cake – we bought them a lot of cupcakes instead because of all of the 1s and 9s.” The twins’ other siblings are Elizabeth, 11, Olivia, 10, Noah, seven, Evangeline, five, and Tobias, four. The huge family is well known in their small community, where they live in a four bedroom home provided for service families. Still, their neighbours were stunned by the news.
Zoe said: ” People have to do a double take every time that we say it . People think no, that can’t be right. I think people think they have misheard. And then there’s the fact we’ve got nine and another one on the way. Quite often new people will say ‘Are you a childminder?’ and I’m like no, they’re all my own.”