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Published on May 11, 2018

Karie Geyer and Jen Nelson with their children

Two Births, One Birthday: Sisters Deliver on the Same Day

When sisters Karie Geyer and Jen Nelson found out they were both expecting babies during the month of November 2017, they thought it was quite the coincidence.

“At first, I thought, ‘what are the odds.’ Then I started to get excited by the fact that our babies would be the same age,” said Geyer. As the due dates grew closer, Geyer was scheduled to have labor induced on Nov. 20, and Nelson was scheduled to have a C-section on Nov. 21.

Although this schedule dictated they would be born a day apart, the baby boys had other ideas.

Geyer went into labor naturally on Nov. 17, and she and her husband, David, headed to Aberdeen, S.D., from their home in Veblen. Little Raymond John was born at 5:23 a.m. at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen.

Nelson and her husband, Matt, who live in Webster, happened to be at Veblen visiting her mother, Thea Pallansch. When they heard the news, Nelson and her mom got in the car to drive to Aberdeen to meet the newest member of the family.

“As we were driving, I just didn’t feel the greatest. I started having contractions, and I thought maybe it was false labor. When we got there, instead of going to see my sister, I ended up admitting myself,” Nelson said.

The sisters’ father, John, had passed away in September of 2016 due to ALS. So Nelson’s husband, Matt, was helping out on the family’s place at Veblen by cutting wood. “He was running the wood splitter with ear muffs and didn’t hear his phone, so we called a neighbor to let him know that he needed to call us as soon as possible,” Nelson said.

Things kept progressing with Nelson’s labor and Hunter John was delivered at 4:53 p.m., almost 12 hours after his cousin.

Although the sisters hadn’t discussed baby names in advance, both cousins ended up with the middle name of John, in honor of their grandfather who had passed away a year before they were born.

Both sisters were seeing Tage Born, MD, Avera Medical Group OB/GYN specialist in Aberdeen for their prenatal care, and both sisters had their babies delivered by her colleague, Gregg Carlson, MD, who was on call that day.

“Dr. Carlson had delivered my first baby, Kinsey, too. I told him he was just meant to deliver my babies,” Nelson said. “Both are wonderful physicians – very knowledgeable and very caring.”

“The nurses are the ones who are with you in the trenches,” Nelson said. “They were also very caring and understood our story with our dad. They thought it was neat to have two sisters in the same unit two doors down from each other.”

“Dr. Born is phenomenal, and Dr. Carlson stepped in like we were old friends,” Geyer said. “It was a great experience through the entire process. The birth of a child is a big event for a family. Every nurse, on every shift, built a relationship with us and definitely cared.”

The sisters said their family is close, as they grew up singing together with their parents at church and community events.

Matt and Jen Nelson live in Webster, where Jen is a physical therapist and practices with her mom, Thea. Karie and David Geyer live in Veblen and Karie is a pastor at a three-point Lutheran parish in the area. The families live about 50 miles apart.

The Nelsons have a 2-year-old daughter, Kinsey, and the Geyers have a 7-year-old daughter, Mahree. “The girls are close even with the difference in ages, and we adults love hanging out too,” Nelson said.

The sisters imagine their sons will share lots of experiences together – birthdays, Halloweens, Christmases and July Fourths.

The first of these shared experiences was being baptized together. “That just felt right – to kick off their life of doing things together in that way,” Nelson said.

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