EVERETT — It wasn’t family planning to start with, but it sure is now.
Family birthday party planning, that is.
Three O’Brien siblings each had a child born on May 9 in three consecutive years.
The three cousins, all girls, turn 2, 3 and 4 this year.
First was Luree Halbach, who arrived on May 9, 2013, after three days of labor.
Then came Anique Sims a week ahead of schedule and exactly one year later, born at her Everett home with a midwife two hours before midnight.
Mallory O’Brien was born 12 days early on the afternoon of May 9, 2015.
The moms are sisters Ashley (O’Brien) Sims and Rachel (O’Brien) Halbach, and their sister-in-law Molly O’Brien, who is married to their brother Danny.
They didn’t set out to make the ninth of May a family holiday.
It was a coincidence that all three babies ignored their due dates, and instead chose May 9 to make their entrances.
“No planning whatsoever. We never even saw it coming,” said Ashley. “Even after Luree was born, I was due the middle of May and it never even crossed my mind that I would go into labor before my due date. Same thing for my sister-in-law. I was celebrating my daughter’s first birthday here and they were going to come and they texted me and said, ‘We can’t come, we’re at the hospital.’”
It didn’t occur to Danny at the time Molly was in labor that it would be a May 9 trifecta. “I didn’t realize we were creating a birthday, too,” said Danny, who lives in Burlington.
“After the third year, the trend was broken,” said Rachel, a Portland, Oregon, resident. “There have three more born since.”
The four O’Brien siblings are all in their 30s, so there might be more babies to come. The oldest is Chelsea (O’Brien) Pang, who lives in Hawaii and has three children, none with May birthdays. The other three each have two kids.
There was a triple party for the stairstep cousins last year at the Rucker Hill home of the matriarch and patriarch Dan and Marsha O’Brien, known as “Bapa” and “Tutu” to the grandchildren.
“My parents are loving it,” Ashley said. “It’s great. We go to their house and they make us a bunch of food and then we terrorize the house and then we leave and they clean it up. Then they call us and say, ‘We’re ready again. Come back.’”
“We get three birthdays all in one,” Danny said.
Ashley already envisions the birthdays to come.
“It makes it extra special to share it. Not only is it your special day, but it is two of your cousins’ special day, too,” she said. “I think of different stages in their lives and what they’ll do. When someone turns 16 and gets their license. When the youngest one turns 21, they can take each other out for a drink. It will be a lifelong thing.”
Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @reporterbrown.
Famous May 9 birthdays (with year of birth)
Billy Joel (1949), singer/songwriter
Candice Bergen (1946), actress
Lane Kiffin (1975), head football coach at Florida Atlantic University
Ghostface Killah (born Dennis Coles, 1970), rapper and member of the Wu-Tang Clan
John Brown (1800), civil rights activist and abolitionist
Howard Carter (1873), British archaeologist who discovered the tomb of 18th dynasty Egyptian pharaoh King Tut
Mike Wallace (1918), newscaster
Prince Fielder (1984) designated hitter for the Texas Rangers
Bridget Jones fictional character of the “Diary” book and movie fame