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Mother’s Day: Bemidji sisters celebrate newborn sons on same day

Fraternal twins Amy Haskell, left, and Sarah Martinka each gave birth to a son April 23 at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, despite trying to avoid that exact situation. Amy’s son, Andrew, arrived about three hours before Sarah’s son James. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — It was exactly what they didn’t want to have happen.

Fraternal twins Sarah (Berg) Martinka and Amy (Berg) Haskell were both expecting their second children in April, but they took steps to ensure the babies would not be born on the same date.

But, fate had other plans.

Andrew Frank, son of Travis and Amy Haskell, was born at 12:33 p.m. April 23.

His cousin, James Theodore, son of Bryan and Sarah Martinka, was born less than three hours later, at 3:18 p.m.

"We really, really didn’t want it to happen this way," said Amy, who by one minute is the younger twin.

"Our biggest fear — which didn’t happen because the entire medical staff was great — our biggest fear was not getting a pain pill or not getting checked on because they saw (the other) and thought they checked on us already," Sarah said. "I don’t think ple do get confused."

Both spoke recently from Sarah’s home, cradling their healthy, sometimes sleeping, two-week-old sons in their arms.

It all worked out.

Baby boom

Sarah, more than a week overdue, was scheduled that Tuesday for an induction. Amy, whose firstborn was born via c-section, had her second c-section already scheduled for later in the week, before her due date.

So, Sarah went into Sanford Bemidji Medical Center at 5 a.m. that Tuesday and began the admittance process. She received a text from Amy, but didn’t immediately check it, thinking she was just checking on how things were going.

When she got settled into her room, that’s when Sarah learned Amy was in labor.

Amy said she began having contractions the night before, but she thought, perhaps hoped, she was experiencing a false alarm.

But it was time.

She went to the hospital and Andrew was born, via c-section, at 9 pounds, 10 ounces, and 22 inches long.

"I found out Andrew had been born while I was still in labor," Sarah said.

But her labor soon ended as well, as James was born at 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and 20½ inches long.

Both boys joined their parents and older sisters. Sarah’s oldest, Natalie, is 22-months-old, and Amy’s Molly is 14-months-old.

"We kind of thought that the girls would look alike," Sarah said. "But no, we were shocked at how they look completely different.

"And that’s the same with the boys. They don’t look alike at all."

Close cousins

"People ask us all the time if we planned to be pregnant at the same time," Sarah said. "But, no, definitely not. It was actually super inconvenient."

With their daughters exactly nine months apart in age, Sarah and Amy could share maternity clothes and baby-care items. Now, they both need their own sets of everything, and the built-in babysitting services that come with a nearby sibling are less available.

"Both our parents are in town, but, you know, they went from zero to four grandkids in two years, so we’ve kind of exhausted the babysitting there, too," Sarah said.

But, on the plus side, the sisters can share their respective maternity leaves, which could last through most of July.

"We get to together quite often," Sarah said, noting that they tried their first full-family walk the other day, though it didn’t go extremely well.

Their daughters benefit from their get-togethers; both agreed the girls are growing up and becoming extremely close.

On this day, though, Natalie played by herself with a toy guitar at Sarah’s feet. Molly, to curb some of the potential kid chaos, spent the day with her daycare friends.

"Natalie was actually upset when I got here, because Molly wasn’t coming to play," Amy said.