2018 New Year's baby is actually New Year's babies


Two adorable twin brothers entered the world about 9:15 p.m. New Year's Day, becoming the first babies born in Crow Wing County in 2018.

Rhys Peterson was born at 9:12 p.m. at Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center, and was quickly followed by his brother Kai at 9:15. Rhys, 6 pounds, 1 ounce, at 18.5 inches long, and Kai, 5 pounds, 15 ounces, at 18 inches long, were born to parents Jessica and Mark Peterson of Baxter.

Jessica said she hadn't figured out how to tell them apart yet. That was understandable, because they were equally cute. In the meantime, the twins wore hats labeled "A" and "B" for easier identification.

Other than making squeaking noises in protest of being moved into position for photographs, Rhys and Kai mostly stuck to sleeping peacefully when introduced to the press. They'll need their rest if they're going to help their nearly 2-year-old big brother, Axel, get into mischief later on in life. Axel hadn't met them yet because of hospital flu restrictions, but the new members of the family can go home in about three days.

When she found out she would be having twins, Jessica couldn't find her car for 10 minutes, she said.

"I was in shock," she recalled.

The pair's names have a special duality combining the elements of fire and water: Rhys means "fire-y warrior" in Welsh, while Kai means "ocean" in Hawaiian, Jessica said. Their personalities align with their names: Rhys was the more talkative one.

Asked to describe parenthood to someone who doesn't have kids, Jessica said it was terrifying, but also rewarding. Watching children learn how to interact with the world—whether to do good or be naughty—was satisfying, she said.

"It puts life into perspective," she said.

Asked whether she was anxious at all about being outnumbered in an otherwise all-male household, Jessica said no.

"I told (Mark) I'm getting a girl dog, eventually," she said.