There is a special bond between identical twins that most couldn’t even fathom. For Jill and her twin sister Erin, they were about to experience a life-changing moment together. After planning to get pregnant around the same time, it would come as a huge surprise that the two would be just down the hall from each other during their deliveries.
Growing Up As Twins
Jill Justiniani and Erin Cheplak were as close as they could be growing up. Being identical twins gave them a special bond.
“We played together, slept together, ate together. My parents would talk about how we had our own language together. We’d be in our cribs side to side and make these cooing sounds. I’d make a sound and Erin would respond,” said Jill.
A Tragedy Brought Them Closer Together
About six years after Jill and Erin were born, their parents welcomed another baby girl. The twins were so excited to be big sisters, but doctors soon discovered something was wrong.
Their younger sister Allison was born with a rare genetic disorder and was only given two months to live. She was always at medical appointments and staying at the hospital.
Allison Defied The Odds
Allison managed to prove doctors wrong by living past two months. However, she did not make it past 12-years-old.
“We watched my parents navigate raising a disabled child but also raising us as well. Erin and I, we always had each other to lean on. And that also bonded us,” said Jill.
Allison Inspired The Twins
Seeing the devastation first-hand from Allison’s passing made Jill and Erin want to reconsider their career paths.
They ended up studying occupational therapy with a focus on helping children with disabilities. The twins currently work together as occupational therapists in an outpatient clinic. “It’s really shaped our career, our passion and our focus,” said Erin.
Jill Fell In Love First
During high school, Jill started dating Ian, a guy who would soon be her husband. The high school sweethearts got married in August of 2019.
“Growing up with them, when they say that they’re each other’s best friends, when they say that they lean on each other, they really, really do,” said Ian.
Erin Followed In Jill’s Footsteps
A little over a year after Jill got married to Ian, Erin tied the knot with her husband Zach.
They had a small ceremony in October 2020 and waited until August 21, 2021, to have a more extravagant affair. Jill and Erin’s lives were soon falling into place, but there was still something they wanted to do together.
Time For Babies
Growing up, both Erin and Jill agreed that they would want to have babies around the same time. “We’ve always said that it would be very fun for us,” said Erin.
On the morning of Erin’s wedding, Jill called her with the good news that she was pregnant. Nine days into Erin’s honeymoon, she found out that she was pregnant as well.
Their Plan Worked
Erin and Jill were ecstatic to be pregnant at the same time and had no idea that their births would happen on the same day.
Erin had a due date of May 15, while Jill had one for about eight days earlier. Some unforeseen circumstances would soon change their course of events.
Both Babies Would Come Early
During a checkup at the doctor’s office on May 5, they noticed that Jill’s baby was in a breech position. When this happens, the doctors schedule an emergency cesarean section.
That same morning, Erin noticed that her water broke. “I called my husband, Zach, and I said, ‘Okay, this isn’t a joke. My water just broke. I’m going to need you to come home from work and take me to labor and delivery,'” she said.
Erin And Jill Would Have Sons Born On The Same Day
“My next phone call was to Jill and I said, ‘Okay this isn’t a joke, but I’m pretty sure my water just broke.’ Jill’s like, ‘All right. Well I’ll see you there,'” said Erin.
Jill was originally going to have her procedure at 1:30 p.m., but it got delayed because there were too many other emergency c-sections ahead of her.
Making It A Family Affair
Erin soon showed up at the hospital at 9:30 a.m. and was already in active labor. Luckily, Jill and Ian were able to join Erin and Zach in their room before Jill’s scheduled procedure.
“It was the four of us and all being a support system together. They were there for my strong contractions, I could not have gotten through that without that support,” said Erin.
Oliver Was Born First
Erin gave birth to her son Oliver at 6:39 p.m. He weighted seven pounds, three ounces and measured 20 inches.
Jill got the great news shortly before she gave birth to her son Silas at 11:31 p.m. Oliver and Silas were born just a little under five hours apart, but there were more similarities between them.
The Babies Had The Same Measurements
“We knew Oliver’s numbers. I was just kind of, ‘Okay, cool. It’s a pretty big baby,'” said Zach, who is also a twin.
“Then the nurse did Silas’s weight and length. Exactly the same. ‘I said, ‘You got to be kidding me.’ It was just incredible,” Zach continued. Erin and Jill’s sons were the exact same height and weight.
Closeness Is Key
Erin and Jill were able to have their babies just right across the hall from each other in the Anaheim, California hospital.
They were even discharged at the same time and returned to their Yorba Linda homes which are only five minutes away from each other. “It’s such a blessing being so close,” said Erin.
Why Erin Moved Back
Erin and Zach had previously lived in Long Beach, which is about 45 minutes away from Yorba Linda.
However, when Erin and Jill found out they were pregnant at the same time, Erin moved back, so that their babies could grow up together. There wouldn’t be anything that could keep these babies apart.
Being Twins Shaped Their Decision
“Being identical twins, Jill and I know no difference, other than spending all of life’s journeys together. It’s an experience that has been amazing and it’s something that Jill and I cherish so much,” said Erin.
She continued, “We’re each other’s best friends and to know that our sons are going to grow up with the opportunity for a similar experience is a huge blessing. We’re so grateful for that.”
Through Thick And Thin
After Allison’s passing, Jill and Erin really only could rely on each other. They want their sons to have someone to rely on for both the good and bad.
“That’s just another really special thing for our sons – they’re going to have a sense of closeness that they can also rely on each other the way that my sister and I did,” said Jill.
The Baby Boys Are Surrounded By Family
Oliver and Silas will grow up with a ton of family right around the corner. Not only does each family live within five minutes from each other, but the grandparents live nearby too.
Ian’s mother lives with him, Jill, and Silas and Erin and Jill’s mom and dad live just 15 minutes away.
Similar Genetics In The Babies
Since Silas and Oliver were born to identical twin mothers, their genetics are actually pretty similar.
Their genetics are more closely defined as half-siblings, as opposed to first cousins. Family means everything to Jill and Erin, so they wanted to make sure their boys are getting to know each other as early as possible.
Getting Closer Every Day
Erin and Jill made it their mission to get their boys to bond. They make sure to visit each other every day. “This bring such joy to us and I’m so happy to share it with others,” said Erin.
The twins will never get over the fact that their sons were born on the same day with the same measurements. “It just feels like it was supposed to be,” said Jill.