Settling any sibling rivalries won't be easy for twins Kylee and John Anthony. Each has a claim on being No. 1.
Kylee Kim was born first and biggest at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, but she was last, too - the last baby born in 2011 at Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Little brother John Joseph was second and smaller, but he was the first baby born in the new year at the hospital, arriving feet first, three minutes into 2012.
The healthy babies were welcomed by their parents, John and Jolene Anthony, who said they felt lucky and blessed.
"We could go buy a lottery ticket right now," John Anthony said.
John, 29, a car salesman at Liberty Superstores, and Jolene, 26, assistant manager at Walmart, were married almost three years ago. Each has older children, and they had been hoping to have children together.
Ultrasounds showed they were having twins, but with a due date of Jan. 20 and a scheduled induction planned for Jan. 9, they never expected the babies to arrive with such New Year's fanfare.
But on Saturday afternoon, Jolene said she was feeling extra miserable, so when John got off work, they headed to the hospital just in case.
"We got here and sure enough, they said, you're going to have some babies tonight, and congratulations," Jolene said.
With that news, John got excited, not only about his children being born, but about the possibility of two "tax babies" before the stroke of midnight.
By 11 p.m., Jolene was ready to deliver and nurses called her obstetrician, Dr. Jeffrey Bendt.
As the hour progressed, John gave up hope of having two tax babies, and the nurses started rooting for Jolene to have one baby before midnight, the other one after.
Minutes ticking away, Jolene pushed and the nurses cheered her on, celebrating when Kylee was born a minute before midnight, 21 inches long and weighing 6 pounds, 2 ounces.
But unlike with her older children, both single births, the work wasn't over for Jolene after the first baby was delivered.
Baby John was in a breech position, and while Bendt had told the couple Jolene wouldn't necessarily need a caesarian section, John experienced four minutes of panic seeing his son emerge foot-first in a tense give-and-take between doctor and mother.
"It was the worst feeling I ever had in my life," he said.
All that fear dissolved when John heard the cries of his new son, born at 12:03 a.m., just a little smaller than his sister at 19 inches and 5 pounds, 12 ounces.
The couple thanked their doctor for his calm, straightforward manner, and their friends and family for their support.
Twins don't run in either of their families, and John and Jolene took the double stroke of good fortune as a sign that their family and relationship are on the right track.
"If there's any sign you could have that you're with your soulmate," John said, "what better sign from God?"
Contact Barbara Soderlin at 394-8417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.