It sounds like a riddle: How can two boys be both brothers and twins but not share a birthday, or even a birth month? A Kansas City mother has a rather miraculous answer to that question. Elene Cowan gave birth to her fraternal twin boys nearly six weeks apart, and after 100 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, the boys, now 4 and 6 months old, are home, weighing in at more than 9 pounds a piece, and expected to do fine. Cowan learned her amniotic sac was bulging in the birth canal at 24 weeks; with doctors unable to halt her labor, she delivered son Carl on Jan. 20; he weighed one pound four ounces—so tiny his mother could slide her engagement ring up his arm.
Cowan's doctor tells KOBI he believes an incompetent cervix may have been behind the premature birth; he literally stitched her cervix shut and used medication and a special balloon to keep Carl's brother, David, inside in the hopes of improving his own chance of survival. Cowan spent the next six weeks on bed rest, moving only to visit Carl. When David came along 39 days later, on Feb. 28, he weighed less than three pounds—and Cowan thought he looked huge by comparison. She tells ABC News they plan to celebrate the birthdays separately in "remembrance of what they went through." While it is incredibly rare for twins to be born so far apart, FOX4KC reports the Guinness Book of World Records lists the longest stretch between the birth of one set of twins at 87 days, or almost three months. (The news of Cowan's twins follows that of a woman in Boston who recently gave birth to twins 24 days apart.)