Trusting Their Instincts



Sadie and Jon Erickson’s home in a quiet, wooded area of north Fargo is the perfect place for hiking and biking.

But nothing compares to canoe season for this outdoorsy couple. They’re ready for some northern Minnesota camping.

“Anything outside and we’re there,” says Sadie, 32.

This year, the loving couple won’t be swatting mosquitoes by the campfire alone. They welcomed fraternal twins Liv and Hadley four months ago.

“We knew we wanted to be parents from the minute we became a couple,” says Jon, 33. “And deep down I always wanted twins. But when it came time to start trying, it wasn’t so easy for us.”

Sadie has a history of ovarian cancer which contributed to fertility issues. “We trusted our instincts and decided to get help,” says Sadie. Their journey to parenthood first took them to Sanford’s Reproductive Medicine Clinic where the team of board-certified physicians, including Dr. Stephanie Dahl, helped them get pregnant.

When they received the good news from Dr. Dahl, Sadie explains that Dr. Dahl was almost more excited than she was. “It just goes to show the personal relationships we made. From the nurses, the lab techs, everyone, they were just amazing,” says Sadie.

Although Jon and Sadie got what they wished, they were indeed expecting twins; this meant Sadie and the babies would need close monitoring throughout the pregnancy, during the delivery and after birth.

Dr. Peter Van Eerden, North Dakota’s only board-certified maternal-fetal medicine physician, along with the couple’s OB/GYN Dr. Rebekah Tompkins, teamed up to provide Sadie and the babies with the most intensive, comprehensive care available to women with high-risk pregnancies.

Dr. Van Eerden and his team monitored Sadie and the babies through ultrasounds looking at babies’ anatomies, a fetal echocardiogram to look at the babies’ hearts and anti-partum fetal testing in Sadie’s third trimester twice a week to make sure there were no signs of complications.

“What we did was counsel them about the basic risks that may occur during the course of the pregnancy and then prepared a plan of care for them,” says Dr. Van Eerden.

‘It was a village taking care of us’

For Jon and Sadie, their “little pumpkins” were monitored and everything turned out better than expected. They wouldn’t need the NICU after delivery, but there was comfort knowing it was there just in case.

On November 8 at 6:45 a.m., Sadie’s arrived at the Sanford Family Birth Center. But the hours went by and no babies.

“It was a long day!” says Sadie. “But just to think how great the staff was … one of our nurses even stayed over her shift because she wanted to be there for the birth.”

Jon agrees: “It was a village taking care of us and they were all cheering us on.”

The final push

The OR was ready. The NICU was just down the hall. Twenty skilled medical professionals coaching Jon and Sadie. Everything was prepared for Sadie and those two babies.

“You knew it was being done right,” says Jon. “They’re a well-oiled machine.”

Just after 11 p.m. that evening, Liv entered the world, followed by Hadley. Two healthy babies. Two joyous parents.

What a trip

For the Ericksons, everything worked out in the end, thanks to the skilled, coordinated care provided by their team at Sanford.

“We just could not have done it without them,” says the couple.

Today, the Erickson’s are in the preliminary planning stage of outdoor adventures with Liv and Hadley. While the couple debates over Lake Superior or somewhere in Wisconsin, the two babies sit in their laps, cooing and contented.

Happy and healthy.

Posted Date: April 2013

Trusting Their Instincts

Sanford's Reproductive Medicine Clinic was like a village helping in the birth of Liv and Hadley Erickson