TRAVERSE CITY — What are the odds that twin brothers would have their first babies on the same day at the same hospital?
Just ask Justin Thorington, whose daughter, Lucy, was born March 27 at Munson Medical Center just hours after twin Josh Thorington welcomed son, Jack.
“It’s like, less than a half percent,” said Justin Thorington, principal of the Kalkaska Alternative Program and athletic director for Kalkaska High School.
The chance births started at 4:18 a.m., when Jack was born to Josh and wife, Denise, after an emergency C-section. Meanwhile Justin and wife, Alex, were headed to the hospital after a restless night of contractions. They were sent home to labor some more, but returned to the hospital that afternoon and delivered Lucy a few minutes before midnight.
“We were a few doors down so while Alex was in early labor, Josh wheeled the baby down and we got to hold little Jack,” Justin said. “The funny thing was that when a bunch of nurses were in checking on Alex and then left, Josh was on his way down. There was a nurse who was so confused: ‘Did I just miss the birth of his baby?’”
The babies’ due dates were two weeks apart — Jack was two days late, Lucy 10 days early — but that didn’t stop the couples from hoping for a shared birthday for the cousins.
“The whole pregnancy we were like, well, we could have them on the same day, just knowing how in sync Justin and I are,” said Josh Thorington, a physical therapist at Munson Community Health Center, where he oversees sports medicine and orthopaedic physical therapy. “We’re very, very happy but we’re still surprised.”
The unusual births made national news after Munson nurses made the twin connection.
“Being a twin my whole life I’ve been used to sharing these experiences so I didn’t think it was that big a deal,” Justin said. “Every birthday we shared, every graduation.”
The brothers, 33, are not only identical twins but “mirror image” twins with reversed asymmetry, such as opposite dominant handedness and dental structure. So it’s no wonder that one had a boy, the other a girl, say family members.
Their children likely will grow up as companions since the couples live a five-minute drive from each other in Traverse City, like to eat and watch sports together and even have the same friends.
“We’re a little bit loud and a little crazy,” said Justin, whose family includes a black Labrador retriever to Josh’s chocolate Lab.
The babies came home March 29 wearing onesies decorated with stars and puppy paw prints. Already they seem to like each other, Josh said.
“We laid them down together and it seemed like they were already close. We expected them to cry but it seemed like they were happy,” he said.
The brothers hope their camaraderie and affection for one another will rub off on their offspring.
"Regardless of whether they were born on the same day or night, they’ll grow up close,” Josh said. “Justin and I are close, Alex and Denise are close. It will be another piece of excitement to celebrate their birthdays on the same day and to have that connection. It kicks it up a notch.”
Said Justin: “They’ll always know they’ve got a friend, somebody they can play with. More important they can share in the good moments and be there for each other when they go through tough moments in life.”