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Published December 13, 2012, 11:30 PM

Better by the dozen: On 12-12-12, Sanford delivers 12 babies

FARGO – If life is all about timing, then it’s time for some area families to buy lottery tickets.

By: Helmut Schmidt, INFORUM

FARGO – If life is all about timing, then it’s time for some area families to buy lottery tickets.

Fargo’s Sanford Hospital delivered 12 babies on Dec. 12. For you numbers lovers, that’s 12 on 12-12-12.

“It was busy. It started right after midnight,” said Rita Frovarp, a registered nurse at Sanford.

Lisa Ripplinger, 29, and her husband, Gary, 35, didn’t plan on their daughter arriving Wednesday. If anything, Erin was a bit late. The sleepy 7-pound, 4-ounce girl was due Dec. 7.

“I think it’s important to note the lengths my wife will go through to make sure I don’t forget my daughter’s birthday,” Gary Ripplinger said.

The Mapleton couple also has a 2-year-old son.

Erin was born at 11:12 a.m.

“We almost made it to 12:12!” Lisa Ripplinger said. “It crossed my mind, but I just wanted her to be here.”

Ella Thielke was just the opposite of late, coming into the world almost a month early at 8:18 a.m. She is the first child of Lora and Bill Thielke of Moorhead.

Lora, 30, was working as a cook at Minnesota State University Moorhead when her water broke, “and she (Ella) decided to come before Christmas.”

The 7-pound, 3-ounce girl also shares her birthday with Lora’s mother.

“It’s a birthday present for Grandma,” Lora said. “My mom said it’s the best birthday present.”

Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Mickelson delivered the one baby who was scheduled well in advance to be born Wednesday.

That was Wendy and Corey Hanson’s baby girl, Harper, who was delivered by cesarean section.

“Her first visit last summer, she said ‘I’m having my repeat caesarean on 12-12-12,’ ” Mickelson said.

Wendy, 35, said Harper was born at 7:31 a.m. at 9 pounds and 8 ounces.

The Portland, N.D., couple has two more children, a boy, 4, and a girl, 7.

Wendy said she didn’t push for a birth at noon or 12:12 p.m. to continue the string of 12s.

“If figured I was getting the date. That was good enough,” she said.

Eleven of the babies were delivered by Dr. Michelle McCann, who was recovering Thursday from her long Wednesday shift.

Sanford averages five to 10 births a day, Frovarp said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583