A Minnesota couple rang in the new year this week with the birth of twins — and bragging rights about having delivered them in different decades.

Melissa and Ben Mase of Cologne became the proud parents of George and Remi on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, respectively.

"It was pretty exciting the way this one went down for us," said Ben Mase, 43.

Their delivery did not play out as planned. The Mases, who have been married for nearly 15 years, were not expecting the twins for another few weeks.

Melissa Mase, 42, had just seen her doctor on Monday and showed no signs of an early birth.

But Mase, assistant principal at Cologne Academy, a K-8 charter school, began experiencing symptoms the next day as she tried to finish some work before winter break ended.

Her water hadn't broken, but she was having contractions. They intensified when she got to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia.

Ben Mase was at home with their other three children — 11-year-old William, 9-year-old Lucia and 2-year-old Ella — when he got a text from his wife: "Game on. They broke my water."

"I was not prepared to hear that," Ben Mase said.

The next thing they knew, they were in the delivery room as the clock inched closer and closer to midnight. The couple joked about "how funny it would be" if the twins entered the world in two different decades.

George Winton Mase was born at 11:44 p.m. on Tuesday.

Ben Mase glanced back and forth at his wife and his watch just minutes before midnight. Then came daughter Remi James Mase — at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

"There was quite a bit of hooting and hollering going on in [the delivery room]," Ben Mase said. The doctors and nurses wore "Happy New Year's" party hats and served the couple mocktails after the second birth.

The twins were delivered in a natural childbirth five weeks early by Dr. Dennis Mohling. George weighed 5 pounds, 1 ounce, and is 18 inches long; Remi weighed 5 pounds and is 18 inches long. They are healthy and now in the hospital's neonatal care unit, said Ridgeview Medical Center spokeswoman Lisa Steinbauer.

Melissa Mase is healthy, her husband said, and has her hands full with the newest members of the family.

George was delivered in time to be part of a record year for Ridgeview Medical Center. The hospital recorded its most births ever in 2019, with 1,347.

New Year's Day baby Remi shares a birthday with her grandfather, Melissa Mase's father.

"It was pretty wild," Ben Mase said. "We're thankful that everything went as well as it did."

Ryan Faircloth 612-673-4234 Twitter: @ryanfaircloth