Phil and Coni Trusty's newborn twins, born 16 weeks premature, are so tiny that they'll need to remain hospitalized until about their original due date, March 8.
But even though Amanda and Dominic Trusty won't be home to celebrate their first Thanksgiving or first Christmas, the Trustys are thankful that their twins are doing OK, despite their early birth.
Coni Trusty, a first-grade teacher at Baxter Elementary School, suddenly felt a cramp Nov. 13 and her doctor felt she should get checked out. That cramp was the beginning of her labor, which was entirely too early, a whole trimester early.
She was flown to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis that day. Doctors attempted to delay the birth of her twins but two days later on Nov. 15, Trusty gave birth to their daughter, Amanda Mabel, who weighed 1 pound, 4 ounces; and their son, Dominic Chalmer, who weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces. They were both 12 inches long. The twins have a 2-year-old sister, Rachel.
While their doctors are trying to get the twins to gain weight, it's been an up and down life struggle for the tiny babies, said Coni Trusty. She and her husband, Phil, who is a range mechanic at Camp Ripley, have spent a lot of time at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis with their twins while also trying to retain a sense of normalcy for their daughter Rachel.
"We're very, very blessed to have good family and good friends who have just volunteered to help out," said Trusty. "They say, 'We're doing this and we're doing that' and we just say, 'OK.' It's nerve-wracking but we're very excited and feel really fortunate."
Trusty said she plans to return to work at Baxter School on Monday. Last Friday she returned to school to talk to her first-graders, who have worried about her and her twins. Even when she was pregnant with the babies, they would dote on their teacher, asking her how she was feeling and telling her to sit down when they felt she was getting tired. Their parents have called her and her husband, offering their support and the students themselves have e-mailed the Trustys.
"They're just awesome. I'm so fortunate to have good kids and good parents," she said.
Trusty plans to team teach with Suzie Smith, teaching three days a week. Phil Trusty plans to take a paternity leave when the twins are able to come home.
While the Trustys are worried about their twins, Coni Trusty compared their recovery process to that of teaching her first-graders.
"The kids lead you where they need to go," she said.
Trusty said she hopes her babies will be home in time for Easter.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5858.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.