Erin Cheplak and Jill Justiniani, twins, joked about giving birth on the same day during their pregnancies. They never expected it. Suddenly, it did.
Cheplak called her sister before 9 a.m. on May 5, Justiniani’s C-section day. “It broke.”
At Kaiser Permanente in Anaheim, California, the twin sisters had their first sons hours apart.
They were born at the same hospital on the same day and were the same size. Oliver, Justiniani’s son, and Silas, Cheplak’s, weighed 7 pounds and 3 ounces at birth. 20-inch long.
The sisters were surprised by how close their sons were born, but felt it was typical. The 30-year-old twins had always lived two miles apart in Yorba Linda, California.
“We’ve done everything together,” Cheplak remarked. “It’s been great to go through every step of life together. We’re best friends.”
They all worked in the same field after growing up in Brea, California, with the same hobbies and interests.
California State University, Dominguez Hills awarded them master’s degrees in occupational therapy and kinesiology.
They now work at a pediatric occupational therapy outpatient clinic. Their desks are adjacent. They often share lunch.
The sisters married a year apart and discovered they were pregnant eight days apart, which they stated was unplanned.
Justiniani and Ian finally got pregnant on the morning of Cheplak’s postponed wedding in August 2021 after almost a year of trying.
“We were following up and hoping and praying,” said Justiniani, who had lost a pregnancy a few months before.
Ten days later, while honeymooning in the Maldives with Zach, Cheplak discovered her sense of smell was stronger than usual. This may indicate early pregnancy. Home testing was positive.
Justiniani added, “That was the first step toward feeling like this is pretty crazy, but also totally meant to happen.”
Her sister said they cried on the phone.
“I just had a feeling that it was going to work out and that we were both going to be pregnant,” Cheplak said, even though the news was unexpected.
They should go through pregnancy together as their lives were in sync. They also found it comforting.
“Since these were our first pregnancies, we didn’t know,” Cheplak added.
Despite sharing DNA, the sisters believe their childhood bonded them. Allison, their younger sister, has rare, life-threatening Sialidosis. She died at 12 and the twins were 18.
“Our parents had to spend a lot of time with Allison,” Cheplak said. “Jill and I really clung to each other.”
“I think we were meant to be together,” Justiniani added. “We survived life’s hardest times together.”
After what happened to their younger sister, the twins became interested in occupational therapy. They witnessed Allison’s occupational therapy.
Justiniani remarked, “Every day, I feel like our younger sister is leading us in our work. “It shaped us.”
They support one other in good and bad times. On November 27, they both learned they were having boys.
“We were hoping for the same gender, but we didn’t know,” Justiniani added. “So when we both popped our balloons to find out the gender at the same time and saw a load of blue, we were both like, “Alright, here we go.”
They didn’t anticipate twins. They laughed about it but realized it was unlikely. Justiniani’s C-section was necessary since her son was breech.
She and Ian choose Cinco de Mayo, Ian’s dad’s favorite holiday. In January, Justiniani alleged ALS caused his death.
Her water broke on May 5, a week before her due date. This elevated the day.
Justiniani arrived shortly after Cheplak. Justiniani’s operation was postponed so she and her husband could attend Cheplak’s birth. They comforted her during severe contractions.
“My husband, sister, and Ian supported me,” Cheplak said. He said “movie.”
The sisters’ narrative spread throughout the hospital, delighting staff and patients. Kaiser Permanente gynecologist and obstetrician Alice Lau was surprised when both twins gave birth at the same moment.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she remarked. “I don’t think I’ll ever see twins born on the same day.”
Lau said it made her day, week, and year. “This is wonderful news and reminds us that miracles still happen.”
Justiniani had a C-section while Cheplak got an epidural. Her son Oliver arrived at 6:39 pm.
“The nurses were like, ‘Come on, baby, you’re on a deadline!’” Cheplak labored all night. Cheplak stated. “It motivated me.”
Silas arrived at 11:31. The hospital rejoiced.
“Amazing,” Justiniani said.
The guys play daily despite not being brothers. Their mothers believe they will always be twins.
“We’re just so happy that they’ll be able to go through all of life’s journeys together, just like we did,” Cheplak added. “Pairing continues.”