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Delivering doubles

Two sets in one day

Two sets in one day

May 07, 2007|by JANET HEIM

Dr. Dave Solberg has never run a marathon, but one day this year was the equivalent for the Hagerstown obstetrician/gynecologist.

He delivered two sets of twins a little more than an hour apart on Jan. 25.

Born at 6:26 p.m. and 6:27 p.m., respectively, were girl-and-boy twins Madison and Mason. Their parents are Jamie Lynn and Aaron Semler, of Hagerstown.

Born at 7:36 p.m. and 8:01 p.m., respectively, were fraternal twins Bryson and Landyn. Their parents are Sabrina Betts and Brooks Rohrer, of Hagerstown.

Solberg said on an average day when he does deliveries at Washington County Hospital, he might deliver two babies. This particular day, in addition to the two sets of twins, he delivered five other babies.

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That comes close to his personal record - when he delivered 14 babies in a 24-hour period during his residency.

"There's a tremendous amount of unpredictability in obstetrics. The greatest blessing is when moms and babies go home healthy," Solberg said.

Jamie Semler said she found out she was having twins only six to eight weeks into her pregnancy. The doctor ordered a sonogram because she seemed bigger than she should have been for one baby.

"It was quite a shock. I was all by myself at the appointment," she said, explaining that Aaron, 24, had to work and no one in the family knew they were pregnant yet. Since the twins were born, he has started a new job at Pen-Mar Trailer Sales.

So, Jamie said, she called her husband at work with the startling news.

"I don't think he talked all weekend," she recalled, with a laugh.

Betts, 24, was 20 weeks pregnant before she heard she was having twins.

"Needless to say, that was a surprise," said Rohrer, 27, who works at Aerotek as a technical and commercial staffing recruiter.

Both Madison and Mason Semler, who had been due on March 3, were delivered by Caesarean section. Madison was 4 pounds, 13 ounces, and her brother was 4 pounds, 5 ounces.

They have an older sister, Allyson, who just turned 2. She has Moyamoya disease, a rare disorder that causes an obstruction of major blood vessels around the base of the brain. Allyson, whose story was in The Daily Mail in March 2006, is being treated by doctors in Washington, D.C., and Boston and is now doing well, her mother said.

She is on new seizure medicine and has been seizure-free for three weeks. Allyson and her parents will travel to Boston in June for a one-year post-surgery checkup.

That day in January, Semler had gone to Solberg's medical practice for a checkup. She was being watched because of high blood pressure, which is an increased risk factor for women pregnant with twins.

While she was at the doctors', they realized the time for birth was near and she needed to go to the hospital.

"I went in there thinking I was the only special patient in the hospital," said Semler, 26, who works at Wells Fargo in Frederick, Md.

About 30 minutes later, Sabrina Betts was admitted.

Betts had had a doctors' appointment that day. Her due date was Feb. 15, but she was sent to the hospital when it was discovered she was 5 centimeters dilated.

She delivered Bryson, but had a C-section with Landyn because his arm was positioned up by his face, making the birth more difficult. Bryson weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces. Landyn, who weighed just 4 pounds, 6 ounces, came home a week after Bryson.

As it happens, twins run in both families - Betts' uncles are twins and Jamie Semler's mother has twin cousins.

The Semlers moved to a bigger house on Frederick Street in Hagerstown in December and bought a minivan.

And, Rohrer said their Lynnehaven Road house in Hagerstown looks like Toys "R" Us and that the twins have more clothes than he does.

For both couples, the first few months were stressful. But, they said, getting into a routine has been a saving grace.

The surprises have included sleep deprivation, mounds of laundry, and the time it takes to get ready to go anywhere.

Rohrer recalls the "three-hour ordeal" getting the boys ready to go to church on Easter.

"It's been very exciting but very hard at times having to change diapers and feed everybody at the same time," Jamie Semler said. "But we definitely wouldn't change it for anything."

"It can be trying at times having twins," Betts said, "but they're definitely worth every second they're here with us."

The two families' connections go deeper than just their twins.

Betts, who graduated from Clear Spring High, used to work with Jamie Semler at Wells Fargo, and then worked with Semler's aunt at M&T Bank.

Rohrer and Jamie Semler, whose maiden name was Connor, knew each other at North Hagerstown High.

And, Aaron Semler said he knew Brooks Rohrer's brother.

But he said he got to know Brooks Rohrer during the time the two new fathers fed their babies, who were side-by-side in the nursery.

"It's definitely the greatest gift ever," Rohrer said.

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