IMAGINE if you were born at a day and time which only happens once every 900 years.

That’s what happened to one Swindon newborn, much to the surprise and delight of her mum and dad. Baby Sierra arrived on the dot at 2.20pm on February 2 - a palindrome date.

Her proud parents Athena Ridewood, 18, and Martin Brown, 23, welcomed her to the world at the Great Western Hospital and enjoyed the chronological coincidence of her birth.

Athena said: “I think it’s good luck, I was very surprised that out of all the times she could have been born, she chose that exact moment.

“I went into hospital at 10.30am while four centimetres dilated, then at 2.02pm, I pushed for less than 20 minutes and she was out, it was quite quick.

“There were complications earlier in the pregnancy which were to do with my blood cell count. There was a risk that I could have bled out and died during the birth so we are all really relieved that it went so well.”

Her partner Martin added: “That was a big worry, we didn’t stop thinking about it, it was very scary because we didn’t know what was going to happen but luckily everything went perfectly.

“It’s all such a new experience and a big change, you can see how a new life develops, it’s amazing.”

Midwives have popped over to their Nythe home every day since the second to check how baby Sierra is doing - and the little girl is enjoying a lot of attention.

Athena added: “Everyone’s very excited about her, we have had a lot of family round, it’s been very busy, and she was used in a class demonstration for medical students. My partner can’t get over the fact that he’s now a dad, he loves it.

“It’s our first baby so everything is new to us. I was really excited and really scared but everything is going better than I expected. She’s perfectly healthy and quite chilled out, and she only cries when she wants something.”

The palindrome day of 02/02/2020 is especially rare because it works in both the British and American date formats of day-month-year and month-day-year.

That Sunday happened to fall on the 33rd day of the year, with 333 days remaining in the year. The last eight-digit palindrome date was 908 years ago on 11/11/1111 and the next is not until 12/12/2121, then another 908 year wait until 03/03/3030.

America marked the palindrome of 11/02/2011 but in the UK, it was just another Wednesday. Palindrome derives from the Greek word for running back again, and defines a number, word or phrase that is the same read forward and backward.