It really started 16 years ago last night. In that year, June 28 fell on a Sunday night. Ellen was carrying our twins. We had tried and tried to keep them from coming early, but they would have none of that. On the 28th, Ellen called me at church and I came home and took her to the hospital. They tried a couple of attempts to stop her labor causing her some pretty intense problems. After giving up on that, they allowed her to continue what was to be inevitable. About 5:16 and 5:21 the next morning, she gave birth to our twins.
Brandon was born first. Though at the time of his birth everything seemed normal and healthy, we would find out very soon that his lungs were not developed enough. After Brandon came, the doctors discovered that Britney was breach and they tried to turn her. She was not going to allow that to happen so she was born in that fashion. When she came, the doctors immediately carried her to a table and began working with her. She was not breathing at all. It was the longest minute of our lives! The doctors and nurses were saying, “Come on little girl, breathe!” The kept repeating it. We were all in tears, from doctors to nurses to mom and dad. Then she coughed and started crying. It was the sweetest baby cry ever!
That was not the end of their traumatic entrance into this world. They were born at about 34 weeks. That’s about 6 weeks too early. Neither of their lungs were developed enough. They were immediately flown to Huntsville, Neo-Natal ICU. They would spend the first two weeks of their little lives there. I know that had to be the hardest thing Ellen had to do to that point in her life. She lay in the hospital bed and listened to the med-flight helicopter take off from the roof of that hospital.
We owe such a debt of gratitude to those doctors and nurses in both hospitals for doing the right things by our babies. Brandon actually came home first and Britney followed a week later. Though Britney had more trouble getting here, Brandon had the most trouble developing his lungs (as is the case most of the time with boys). Because of Brandon’s weight he was able to come home first. Britney was still about a pound short of her weight goal when they let her come home. Just a note of interest–Brandon weighed 5 lbs 8 ozs and lost down to 4lbs 10ozs. Britney weighed 4lbs 2ozs and lost down to 3 lbs 12 ozs. They were so tiny.
Today they are healthy sixteen year old kiddos!! We love them very much. They have accomplished much in their short lives. Both were baptized the same night. Britney said, “We were born together the first time and now we will be born again together.” Awesome! They both have been part of the Muscle Shoals Band program–Brandon on drums and Britney on the color guard. They both have excelled as athletes. They both played in the Dixie World Series. Britney’s team, coached by yours truly, was the first girls team in our city to ever win a girls softball game in a World Series in the 11-12 year old division. Brandon’s team nearly won the World Series in 2005. Arkansas beat us in the championship.
I guess the greatest thing about the twins is that they are. I mean just having them in our lives is a blessing from heaven. When God decided to surprise us with a baby, He did so with two babies and we could not be more proud!! They have grown up to be wonderful teens. I look forward to seeing what it is that God has in store for them in the future as they mature, we trust, into adulthood.
Happy sweet sixteen Britney and Brandon!!
Oh, by the way, pray for Ellen and me. They both passed their driver’s test in school and will get their license tomorrow. My prayer life is about to take another upturn into high gear.