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December 8, 2016 • Headline News
Are you ready? This photo was taken in late November, early December 2013.
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Sixth graders in Julia Heidlage’s social studies and science class at South Ripley have been studying the body systems. Pictured here, the group examines the chambers of a deer’s heart.
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UPDATED BY MARIA SIEVERDING DECEMBER 8, 2016 1 P.M.


Local Bulletin Board


Through Dec. 16
UCB accepting food, toys

United Community Bank, Versailles branch, is now accepting non-perishable food items and toys. These items will be donated to the Versailles American Legion Post 173 to help those in need. The lobby hours for drop-off are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. until noon. These items will be received through December 16.


Deadline Dec. 19
Letters to Santa Contest
Buy The Versailles Republican dated December 1
Santa is getting his Christmas list together, but some of you children haven’t told him what you want; so, write him a letter! Santa will answer each child with a personal letter, and you have a chance to win a gift from Santa, too! The top two letters will be awarded gifts! All letters received by December 19 will also be printed in our Annual Christmas Greeting Section on December 22. Be sure to include your name, address, age, and phone number, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and you will receive a reply. All letters become the property of Ripley Publishing Company. Pick up a specially addressed envelope at one of the local businesses. Pick up a copy of The Versailles Republican dated Thursday, Dec. 1 for a complete list of businesses.


Polar Plunge seeks sponsors

Special Olympics Indiana’s largest signature fundraising event, the Polar Plunge, has raised more than $3 million dollars since its inception in 2000.
The 18 Polar Plunges around the state feature 2,900 plungers braving the icy cold waters in Indiana, as they fundraiser to support athletes with intellectual disabilities. Over 5,000 spectators and volunteers watch as both individuals and teams in costumes jump in freezing water to participate in this incredible team-building, bucket-list challenge. Sponsorship opportunities for the Polar Plunge are available for companies that want to partner with Special Olympics Indiana. Contact Greg Townsend at 812-584-6861 or by email at gtownsend@soindiana-rod.org, or visit http://soindiana-rod.org/polarplunge-sponsors to download a sponsorship form.


Jan. 7
First responder breakfast with legislator

Police, Fire, and EMS members please join State Representative Randy Frye for a breakfast to discuss public safety issues for the upcoming legislative session. The breakfast, sponsored by the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department, will be on Saturday, Jan. 7 beginning at 8 a.m.




Blessings come two at a time for May family

Sandy Day Howard
CONTRIBUTING WRITER

One in 500,000 . . . that’s what the chances are of a woman giving birth to three sets of twins without the help of fertility drugs. Breaking that down, it’s like lining up the entire population of Miami, Florida, with most of the population of Cincinnati, Ohio, and finding ONE woman who has had three sets of twins naturally. The odds are almost unfathomable. But that ‘one woman’ is Beth (Palmer) May. She, together with her husband David of Rexville, have had three sets of twins, and two singles, all naturally conceived. David and Beth May were understandably devastated when they were initially told that they would most likely be unable to bear children. Each of them had separate issues that could contribute to Beth’s inability to conceive, doctors said. In addition, they were told, should Beth ever become pregnant, she would most likely miscarry. That, however, was eight children ago.

The May familyWANDA BURNETT PHOTO
The May family came together for a family photo They were first blessed with two single children Taylor, standing left, and Emily, standing right. Then mom Beth holds left to right Kelsey, Easton and Brooke, standing right and dad, David, is flanked by Claire, Matthew and Madison.


“We decided to leave it up to God,” Beth said. Twelve years ago the couple learned that they had finally (and naturally) conceived. Nine months later Beth gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Taylor. Emily, now 9, came along three years later, blessing the family once again. The couple had two beautiful, healthy daughters when Beth learned that she was pregnant for the third time! “Prayer is a powerful thing!” Beth explained.

About halfway through pregnancy number 3, Beth went in for a routine ultrasound. “Is this your first ultrasound?” the technician asked. “Yes, why is something wrong?” Beth immediately became alarmed. “No . . . nothing wrong,” responded the tech. “But there are two!” “Two what?” Beth replied, startled at the announcement. “Two babies!” she was told.

The young mother immediately became emotional, with hundreds of thoughts racing through her mind at the same time. She was completely overwhelmed. At 20 weeks, she had just learned that there were two babies instead of one, meaning that only one baby had been being monitored throughout the first five months of gestation. Would the babies be okay? Why had the doctor heard only one heartbeat? How would she and David care for two infants at once? How would they make it financially?

“I may have uttered a couple of cuss words!” the frightened mom- to- be admitted in retrospect. It was a lot to take in for Beth, having gone from being told she would likely never have children, to having two and finding out the third pregnancy would be a multiple birth. But four months later, David and Beth were elated when Brooke and Claire were born. The girls were perfect: Brooke weighed 8 lbs 10 oz and Claire weighed in at 6lbs 13oz. The couple learned to manage the two infants with the help of family and friends, and of course, the two older ‘singles’.

The couple, together with their four daughters, felt fortunate. To have been told that they would likely never be parents and then to be blessed with four children was more than they could have hoped for! The May family wasn’t complete just yet. Beth became pregnant again a couple of years later. She had gone to a routine prenatal appointment by herself as David, owner/operator of David May Construction, was busy on the job. During an ultrasound that same day, Beth thought her eyes must be playing tricks on her. “There were two sacks on the screen!” “Is that two babies?” Beth gasped. The ultrasound technician confirmed what Beth thought surely must be flashbacks from the first time. The young mother –to- be could vaguely hear the tech’s reply through ‘the fog’ . . . Yes, there are two babies!” It must have sounded a lot like Charlie Brown’s teacher on the favorite Charles S Schultz special to the mother of four. “Waa, waa waa waa. Waa waa waa, waa waa waa waa.” “Once I got a grip on what I was being told, I could only think, ‘How did I get so blessed with another set of twins!” And when David heard the news? “Each time, he just laughed! He took it like a real champ!” Beth declared. She says he was always calm. She also says he is amazing.

The couple had several ‘heart to hearts’ over the next few weeks about how they would be able to function with two sets of twins, plus the two singles. The Mays realized it would be too difficult for Beth to return to work while also caring for another ‘set’ of newborns, so the pregnant mother of four who had been with Napoleon State Bank for nine years, kissed her career goodbye and settled into full time mommy mode. When time came for the twins to be delivered, the couple welcomed their first son, Matthew, who weighed in at 8lbs 7 oz, and his twin sister (and daughter number 5), Kelsey weighing 7 lbs 9 oz. Pregnancy number five for the couple came 14 months later

Doctor Brown with Margaret Mary Community Hospital, wasn’t taking any chances and Beth was scheduled for an ultrasound early during gestation. The result? One baby. It was a relief while also a disappointment in some way for the couple. The family prepared for another ‘single’ and it wasn’t until Beth’s next prenatal check up that Brown ordered another ultrasound. He wanted to be sure the baby was developing properly and, since this was Beth’s fifth pregnancy, the doctor felt it was warranted. During that test, Beth was given unexpected news. The technician smiled at Beth as she broke the silence. A baby wasn’t showing on the scan . . . (Wait for it . . . ) She was seeing TWO babies. The conversation went like this: Technician: There’s another one! Beth: Really? Because last time there was just one?Technician: Nope……two babies! And when Beth returned home to tell David that the ‘single’ had been upgraded to a third set of ‘doubles’? “He didn’t believe me! He thought I was playing a joke on him!” Beth showed David the ultrasound pictures, but he was still certain that they COULDN’T have a THIRD set of twins! The expectant mother dug out the ultrasound pics from twin set #2, complete with date, and compared it to the one she’d just had taken, also with the date on the bottom, before her husband believed that he was once again going to be Daddy to multiples!

Like Beth’s two previous pregnancies, she was having twins once again! And as before, she had never taken fertility medication. The young mother asked Dr. Brown if there was something wrong with her but he reassured her, explaining that her body often ovulates with two eggs. Knowing that the chance of multiples becomes greater when a woman has already had multiples, the doctor said he’d never had a patient like Beth. He had been the obstetrician for patients who have had two sets of twins, but never had he had a mom who had given birth to three sets of twins!

Beth did some research. She found that the odds of having three sets of twins are one in 500,000. And the odds of having three sets of twins back to back? One in five million. (Yes, you read correctly. The odds are one in five MILLION that a woman would give birth to three sets of twins back to back without using fertility drugs.) But Beth May did!

Almost 6 months ago, David and Beth May became parents to Easton and Madison as set number three was like set number two, one boy and one girl. Easton weighed 7lbs 1 oz and Madison weighed 7 lbs even. The Mays said their kids are so use to multiple births that they think that’s how babies come! The couple transports their crew in a large van and doesn’t count how many diapers they’ve changed over the years. They manage like most large families, with the help of older siblings, their families and friends, whose support they are grateful for.

“I think they all think we’re crazy.” said the three time mother of twins.” And maybe we are! But we have eight awesome blessings and if God wants to give us more, we would be happy about it! I can’t imagine my life any other way.” Only one in five million women would say that.


At South Ripley Junior High School . . .
Reception set for local blue ribbon school

South Ripley Junior High School was named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School by the U. S. Department of Education in September. This honor is the highest honor a public school can receive in the United States. This prestigious award would not be possible without the commitment from staff, students, parents, administrators, school board members, and our community.

A community celebration to honor the staff and students is planned for December 14 at 6 p.m. in the SRJHS Auditeria. There will be a short program honoring the students and staff, as well as guest speakers to celebrate this accomplishment. Refreshments will be served after the ceremony. Destiny Rutzel, principal at SRJHS invites the public, parents and students to this event.



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