Edinburgh twins born on 11/1/11 celebrate their 11th birthday
When Jen and Andrew Johnston found out they were having their first child, nothing could have prepared them for the news that they were in fact going to be parents of identical twins.
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And their disbelief continued when their daughters Isabella and Sophia arrived safely just minutes before midnight on the memorable date of January 11, 2011.
“They were actually due in February but came four weeks early,” said Jen, who hails from Glasgow but lives in Edinburgh.
“I went in on the 11th just to have my blood pressure checked and assumed I’d just be going home afterwards. But then the doctors were trying to find heartbeats and weren’t sure what was going on.
“The consultant said I wasn’t doing great and that it was best to do an emergency c-section. It wasn’t until then that we realised if the babies were to come before midnight, they would be born on 11/1/11 and have that amazing birthday.”
Isabella was born first at 11.40pm weighing 5lbs 6oz. Sophia came just one minute later weighing 6lbs. The pair and their mum had to stay in hospital while Jen’s blood pressure was under review, but six days later they were all able to go home.
“They absolutely love their birthday, they think it’s fab,” said Jen. “And it’s so easy to remember, it’s just all the ones and you’re never going to forget that.”
And today the pair, who Jen described as “incredible”, celebrate their 11th birthday. They marked the occasion with a Teepee party at the weekend and will be having family round for a second lot of celebrations this weekend.
“These 11 years have flown by, they have disappeared,” said Jen. “I look at them now and can’t believe they’re my big girls. They were so tiny when they were born.”
She added that, over the years, the girls had developed their own personalities which Jen said were “very similar but very different”.
While they have different tastes in clothes and music, both love going to drama club, running, cycling and being outdoors. They are also bilingual and speak fluent French after having lived in Brussels with their parents when they were little.
They also love helping their parents look after their younger sister Georgia, who is five years old.
“Their 11 years have been so full, we’ve done so much,” said Jen, who worked in public health before she had her three girls.
“There has been a lot of travelling and holidays, living in Brussels, visiting family in Chile, Georgia being born. It has just been brilliant.”
And she added that, despite coming as a shock, having twins was one of the couple’s biggest blessings.
“Nothing can shock as much as when I was told that at the 12 week scan but I feel so, so blessed to have had the two of them and then Georgia afterwards,” said Jen.
“From the moment they were born, they have been easy going, laid back and happy kids. They’ve never been any bother.
“And they’re just the best of pals too, they couldn’t be without each other.”