THEY WERE born in different years - despite entering the world less than 25 minutes apart.

Michelle Sandy, 32, is the proud mother of twin daughters who arrived either side of midnight as the world bid farewell to 2017 and celebrated the arrival of 2018.

Born three weeks premature, Aliya and Lyarna both weighed 4lb 8oz when they made their entrance at the Princess Anne Hospital in Southampton.

But despite being twins Aliya and Lyarna will never share the same birthday.

Aliya arrived at 11.40pm on December 31 and her sister put in an appearance when the new year was just three minutes old.

Michelle’s boyfriend, maintenance worker Dan Appleton, 26, of Totton, said: “It was surreal.

“As it got closer to midnight everyone was talking about whether they’d be born in 2017 or 2018 - then everything happened very quickly.

“As it turned out Aliya and Lyarna were born in different years, despite arriving less than 25 minutes apart.

“Michelle was absolutely amazing - I couldn’t be more proud of her - and all the staff at the hospital were terrific as well.”

The couple have three other children between them, Amelia, Ruby and Tyler, who all went to the hospital to greet the new arrivals.

The trio could hardly contain their excitement as they admired the tiny bundles of joy. Aliya and Lyarna were placed in incubators following their early arrival but Dan said everything was “looking good”.

Jessica Dennis and her partner, Danny Hylton, are also celebrating an addition to the household.

The new year was just 27 minutes old when Sienna Rae Hylton was born at the hospital, weighing in at 6lb 10oz.

Jessica, 22, of Romsey, said: “It all went fairly smoothly. We thought she might have been born on New Year’s Eve but she stuck it out.”

Deirdre Blissett, 34, of Winchester, gave birth to 8lb 2oz Rory at the Royal County Hospital in the city at 8.04am yesterday.

Deirdre, who runs her own business with husband Rob, said: “Rory wasn’t due until January 6 and arrived almost a week early.

“He was the first baby to be born at the hospital this year. All the nurses and midwives were really excited, which made it even more special.”

The new year births follow a busy Christmas Day for Hampshire’s maternity units.

As reported, 14 tots were welcomed by excited fathers and exhausted mothers - twice the festive average.

At the Princess Anne Hospital Hannah Shearing, 27, and Harry Halligan, 26, from New Milton, welcomed their son Alfie Halligan.

Emma Westbury, 46, of Chandler’s Ford, and 19-year-old Lara Bell, from Southampton, also celebrated new arrivals.