Twelve was the magic number for two South Florida babies Wednesday.
In fact, it was 12 to the fifth degree. Both boys entered the world, healthy and alert, at 12:12 p.m. On 12/12/12, a date that won't occur again for 100 years.
"We never thought it would actually work out that way," said Kimberly Caballero of Pembroke Pines, whose son Andres Antonio made his appearance at 12 minutes after noon at Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines. "What are the odds?"
At the same stroke of the clock, at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Rami Wael Tamim made his debut.
"It's amazing," said Rami's mother, Diana Mneimneh. "It just happened so quick."
Labor contractions sent both new moms to their respective hospitals around midnight. Caballero was due Monday. Mneimneh's due date was Tuesday. Perhaps a bit distracted, neither was aware of Wednesday's rare date.
Both births were not induced, but occurred naturally.
Caballero, who with her husband Antonio has a 5-year-old named Anthony, only learned of the 12/12/12 date in the delivery room. She had "no intention at all" of trying to make a 12:12 delivery. Then, "It just happened," she said.
"Everybody was really excited," she said. "They were saying in the middle of labor it's 12:12. It was just too much."
Mneimneh, who has an 18-month-old boy, Jad, with her husband, Wael Tamim, a surgeon on staff at Holy Cross, also "had no idea" Wednesday's date was mathematically significant. Delivery room personnel joked about aiming for a 12:12 p.m. birth.
"I said no way," she recalled. Then she realized nature was taking its course. "Oh, my God, it's going to happen," she said. "It was totally unexpected."
Andres weighed in at 6 pounds, 12 ounces. Rami topped out at 7 pounds, 4 ounces.
"Little Andres is doing well," said Caballero.
"A healthy baby, thank God," Mneimneh said of Rami.