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Tom Smart, Deseret News
Five couples hold their twins at St. Mark's Hospital. Twins belonging to five other couples are in the neonatal intensive care unit.

It was like they were running a two-for-one special in labor and delivery this week at St. Mark's Hospital. There are 10 sets of twins in the nursery and neonatal intensive care unit.

Normally, two or three sets of twins arrive in a given month. This week, four sets arrived in a 21-hour period.

One doctor joked that it was like being on Noah's Ark. "They keep coming, two by two."

The hospital currently has 59 babies, including the 20 twins. And though they arrived in small packages, that's a lot of twins — 88.9 pounds total, according to a hospital spokeswoman, Audrey Glasby.

Dr. Gary A. Dilby, director of maternal-fetal medicine at the hospital, had no explanation for the special deliveries. Twins, he said, used to make up 1 percent of deliveries in the United States. With the advent of technologies like in vitro fertilization, the number hovers around 2 percent now. So in a given year, they see close to 100 sets at St. Mark's. Ten sets at a time is highly unusual for any hospital.

Most of the births were not scheduled, but rather mom went into labor or there was a complication that required immediate delivery, which is not uncommon with twins, he said. Half the twins were born early enough they went to the NICU, which is also about average, he said.

The other five sets and their parents were gathered Thursday afternoon into a foyer for media interviews and a group photo. The NICU babies had to stay where they were.

Twins are nothing new in Robert and Alethea Moeai's family. They have five sets in their immediate extended family. So new son RJ and his twin sister, Ayrus, will fit right in at family gatherings. What was unusual, the happy mom said, is they already had older children, one at a time: three girls ages 12-19, so their Taylorsville home's going to be busy for a while.

Jasmine and Russell Boehmer, West Jordan, already have two toddlers at home, ages 3 and 4. Kaysen arrived first Monday night, weighing 6 pounds 9 ounces, and sister Khloe arrived one minute later. She was one pound smaller.

Aubrey and Scott Carroll of Draper welcomed identical twins Chloee and Sophie Wednesday morning. Besides looking exactly alike, the girls were an identical 5 pounds, 9 ounces and 18 inches long.

"We don't mess around," joked Scott of this, their first pregnancy.

Nathan and Crystal Manning noted their twins Eric and Adalyn are "good babies and don't cry much." Eric showed up first on Sunday, checking in at 6 pounds, 3 ounces, while Adalyn was 4 pounds, 4 ounces. Their twindom was a surprise, said the South Jordan couple. They have no twins in their family.

No one's yet sure if Luke and Tanner Harmon, born Wednesday to Brian and Lisa Harmon, are identical or fraternal twins. They had two amniotic sacs but look a lot alike. And the doctors said there's a 20 percent chance they're identical. They'll also be a big draw at family reunions, because "there are no twins in our family," their dad said. Luke weighed 5 pounds 1 ounce, while Tanner weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces.


Contributing: Amy Macavinta

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