How does it feel to share your birthday with a holiday? Herald reporter Tess Nichol finds out in our Holiday Babies series.

Jake O'Driscoll was supposed to be an April Fool's baby, but the 22-year-old's entrance to the world was a little earlier than expected.

Born three months premature on the first day of 1993, O'Driscoll has been resigned to sharing his birthday with the New Year ever since.

"People have their birthday weeks and their birthday months and make a big deal out of it, but I'm book-ended between Christmas and New Year so I have no chance."

Read the rest of the Holiday Babies series:

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Herald reporter Tess Nichol, born on Christmas Eve
The Tolich triplets, born on Christmas Eve
Dylan Sofa, born on Christmas Day

Although there were a couple of silver linings, like always knowing there would be a party to go to and never having to work on his birthday, for the most part the drawbacks outweighed the good things.

"As a kid it's all about having your birthday before the school year's done otherwise everyone's gone," he said.

Jake says there are pluses and minuses to sharing your birthday with the new year - but mainly minuses. Photo/ supplied
Jake says there are pluses and minuses to sharing your birthday with the new year - but mainly minuses. Photo/ supplied

"We would have a lot of people being committal until the day itself and then they'd either be away or not turn up for whatever reason."

Missing out on so many parties over the years has made O'Driscoll determined to "get some birthday back" when he's out celebrating New Year's Eve with his friends.

He makes a point of getting people to wish him a happy birthday rather than New Year, joking that he "forces" people to acknowledge his special day.

"I try to make it a bigger deal now," he said.

"I think just stressing out about getting older every year makes it more of a point [for me]."

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Jake's mum, Catriona Lawler, holds him as a newborn. Photo/ supplied
Jake's mum, Catriona Lawler, holds him as a newborn. Photo/ supplied

On the plus side, he'd cheekily managed to wriggle out of a few public holiday surcharges on birthday meals out, and birthday money always arrived at the perfect time to fund summer adventures.

"It subsidises your summer holidays."

O'Driscoll said his birth was anything but straightforward.

His mum had toxaemia, which nearly killed the pair of them. His lungs collapsed and he spent weeks in Auckland Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.

"It was a huge palaver and drama," O'Driscoll said.

"She was not expecting all that to happen, let alone on New Year's - it would have been weird for her.

"My friends sometimes tell me it was quite selfish to have my mum need to be sober on New Year's."