Identical twin sisters give birth on same day, in same hospital

The sisters' sons were also the same weight and height at birth.

Identical twin sisters give birth on same day, in same hospital
Erin Cheplak
May 13, 2022, 4:07 AM

Identical twin sisters Jill Justiniani and Erin Cheplak share the same birthday, and now their newborn sons do, too.

Justiniani and Cheplak, both of Yorba Linda, California, gave birth to their sons on the same day, May 5, at the same hospital, just hours apart.

Their sons, named Oliver and Silas, were born with the exact same measurements, each weighing 7 pounds, 3 ounces, and measuring 20 inches at birth, according to hospital records.

"The twinning continues," Cheplak, 30, whose husband, Zach, is a fraternal twin, told "Good Morning America."

Erin Cheplak, left, holding her son, Silas, poses next to her twin sister, Jill Justiniani, holding her son, Oliver.
Purdom Family

Cheplak married her husband in a small ceremony during the coronavirus pandemic, and they held their larger wedding celebration nearly one year later, in August 2021.

On the morning of their wedding celebration, Cheplak said she woke up to a call from Justiniani, who surprised her sister with the news she was pregnant with her first child with her husband, Ian, whom she wed in 2019.

"I screamed and woke up my husband," Cheplak said. "It was such an exciting time."

A week later, while Cheplak was on her honeymoon in the Maldives, she discovered she was pregnant, too, and made an early morning phone call to Justiniani.

"I took the pregnancy test and saw the two lines and it was very faint," Cheplak said. "I was second-guessing, am I seeing what I’m seeing, and I FaceTimed Jill from the Maldives and she was like, ‘Yes, that’s it. That’s it.’"

Together, the sisters, who said they have been close their entire lives, embarked on the journey of becoming moms at the same time.

"Sharing our pregnancy together was really special because we really had the support of each other through every step of the process," Justiniani said. "Even just going through the day-to-day changes of pregnancy, all of the unknowns and the questions and the natural worries that come up, we were constantly able to check in with each other and support each other."

Erin and Zach Cheplak, left, pose with Jill and Ian Justiniani in this photo taken during their pregnancies.
Bethany Jean Photography

The sisters, who at the time lived in different cities about 45 minutes away from each other, said they and their husbands had a "running joke" during their pregnancies that their sons would be born on the same day.

That their sons would also share a birthday seemed less and less likely though as the end of their pregnancies neared.

Justiniani, who was a week ahead in her pregnancy, was scheduled for a C-section on May 5.

Cheplak was scheduled to be induced on her due date, May 15.

On the morning of May 5, Cheplak said she felt what she thought were stomach nerves because she was nervous for Justiniani, who was scheduled to give birth that day.

Instead, Cheplak, who moved to Yorba Linda in her last month of pregnancy, found herself in the same labor and delivery unit in the same hospital as her sister.

"I called my husband and was like, ‘I’m not joking. I think my water just broke,'" Cheplak said. "I called labor and delivery ... and then my next phone call was to Jill and I said, 'Okay, this isn't a joke. I'm pretty sure my water just broke.'"

Erin and Zach Cheplak, far left, pose with Jill and Ian Justiniani at the California hospital where Erin and Jill each gave birth.
Erin Cheplak

Cheplak and Justiniani and their husbands spent the next several hours alternately visiting each other's hospital rooms as Cheplak waited for her labor to progress and Justiniani waited for her C-section, which was pushed back to later in the day due to several emergency C-sections at the hospital.

"Part of me was thinking, 'What are the odds of this? I can’t believe this is happening,' but there was also a sense of calm about it because it was like of course this is happening," said Justiniani. "We’ve just been so close and so inseparable, it made complete sense in a very odd way."

Justiniani gave birth to her son, Oliver, at 6:39 p.m. local time, and just five hours later, at 11:31 p.m., Cheplak delivered her son, Silas.

Twin sisters Jill Justiniani and Erin Cheplak hold their sons, who were born on the same day in the same hospital in California.
Erin Cheplak

The sisters recovered in rooms across the hall from each other and were discharged simultaneously, just two days later.

"Our husbands were able to wheel us out at the same time," said Justiniani. "All the nurses were saying, 'Usually it’s one mom with two twin babies, and now it’s twin moms with a baby each.'"

Jill and Ian Justiniani and their son Oliver, left, and Erin and Zach Cheplak and their son Silas pose in front of Anaheim Kaiser Hospital after their hospital stay.
Purdom Family

The sisters, who now live about five minutes away from each other, said they don't take it for granted that, just as they did with pregnancy, they now get to experience motherhood together.

Justiniani and Cheplak will also be working mothers together. They both work as pediatric occupational therapists, a career they said they chose after growing up with a younger sister who had a disability and passed away nearly 10 years ago.

"I think that’s another thing that naturally brought us closer together," Cheplak said. "I think God had the perfect plan of Jill and I being identical twins and really leaning on each other."