Two premature twin boys are now working to grow bigger and stronger in a Duluth hospital while their hometown community is rallying around their family.
A spaghetti dinner benefit is being planned from 5-8 p.m. Saturday at Mission Town Hall for Aimee and Zac Watson. Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for children 5 and younger. Raffles and a silent auction are planned. The benefit is sponsored by the Mission Township Firefighters Relief Association.
Aimee Watson, pregnant with twins, was 30 weeks pregnant when she woke up around 4 a.m. on Nov. 5 to discover her water had broken. She and her husband went to Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center where she was flown by helicopter to Essentia Health-Duluth. While her medical team was going to attempt to keep the babies in as long as possible, giving them steroids to help develop their lungs, Watson’s contractions were two minutes apart for 15 hours.
At 6:30 p.m. Nov. 5, doctors decided to deliver the premature twins via C-section.
Warren Zachary was born at 7:47 p.m. Nov. 5 at 2 pounds, 9 ounces. Thirty seconds later at 7:48 p.m. his identical brother Waylen Holden was born at 3 pounds, 3 ounces. Both were exactly 16 and one-quarter inches long.
Despite their early birth, the boys are doing well, said Aimee Watson, who is spending six days a week at the hospital to be near them. The twins also have a proud big sister, 8-year-old Evelyn.
“She thinks they’re fantastic,” Watson said of her daughter. “She got to touch them the other day and she said they felt like little bunnies because they’re so soft.”
Watson said the twins have a feeding tube but have been breathing on their own since birth. Warren got a staph infection in his left leg where an IV was placed but that cleared up after four days, she said.
It’s unknown how long the boys will have to remain at the Duluth hospital. The boys are still in incubators and the next step is for them to be able to sleep in open cribs. The Watsons are hoping their boys will be home by Christmas. The babies were due Jan. 14 but her doctor had planned to deliver the twins at 36 weeks, or six weeks before they were actually born.
The boys have been surprising their parents since they were conceived. The Watsons had been trying to get pregnant for a year and decided to give up. Two weeks later, she found out she was pregnant. While getting an ultrasound for a gall bladder issue, Watson talked the ultrasound technician into checking on her early pregnancy. That’s how she discovered she was carrying twins.
“I called my husband and he literally fell over at work,” Watson said with a laugh.
Zac Watson works at Roach’s Lawn and Marine in Crosslake. The couple had health insurance through his previous job and they lost insurance coverage on Oct. 31, just before the babies were born.
“We got a letter one day before it ended, five days later I went into labor,” said Watson. “It’s been quite a ride for us. It’s the first time we’ve ever been uninsured. It’s been pretty stressful but I’m trying to not worry about anything at all except for the babies.”
Zac Watson is a member of the Mission Fire Department, which is hosting the benefit. Aimee worked at Kinetico in Brainerd up until the day before she delivered. The Watsons say they are grateful for the support.
“It’s been really great,” she said. “I told my husband the other day, I knew people liked us but I had no idea. From my mom stopping by and cleaning our house to people offering dinners and lunches up here. I stopped at the pharmacy to get cold medicine for our daughter and the pharmacist said, ‘Let me take care of it.’ It’s unbelievable the amount of help. It’s been amazing.”
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.