HCH sees double-double on Leap Day
Harrison County Hospital hasn’t had two sets of twins born on the same day, at least not in the past 25 years, Steve Taylor, HCH’s executive director, recalled.
But Dr. K.C. Dunn delivered the babies ‘ a boy and girl each ‘ on a day that made it all the more interesting: Feb., 29, which means the four newbies could be just 4-1/2 years old when they graduate from high school.
Elizabeth residents Gregory and Kristy Hess’ twins arrived first on Leap Day, with Ayden Michael arriving at 9:20 a.m. followed by his sister, Addysen Grace, one minute later.
Kristy, who had been on bed rest since Dec. 22 and admitted three different times after going into early labor ‘ was admitted to HCH the night before. Her due date was March 24.
Her obstetrician, Dr. K.C. Dunn, whose practice is in Georgetown, recommended waiting until the next morning to deliver the babies by C-section.
‘We love Dr. Dunn,’ said Kristy, 22. ‘I would not recommend any other OB. …’
‘She’s a doctor who takes the time to get to know you,’ Gregory, 29, added.
The couple said they knew at eight weeks into the planned pregnancy that Kristy was carrying twins. Kristy’s grandmother is a twin, and Gregory has distant cousins who are twins. They have a son, Dallas Cole Hess, who will be 2 on July 29.
Because the babies arrived six weeks premature and were having some issues with their underdeveloped lungs, they were transferred almost immediately to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville. Addysen weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces and was 18-1/2 inches long, while her brother weighed 6 pounds and was 19 inches long.
Gregory went to stay with the newborns at Kosair and was joined by his wife the next day after she was discharged from HCH.
‘We slept in the waiting room for five days,’ Kristy said, where they could keep a close eye on their babies’ progress.
‘Until they stabilized,’ Gregory added.
On March 5, Gregory, who graduated from Providence High School, returned to his job as an automation engineer at Gates Corp. in Elizabethtown, Ky. He said the company does a charity raffle each month, and last month’s, which was a ‘guess the combined weight of the Hess babies,’ benefited Kosair Children’s Hospital. Gates Corp. matched the money raised by the employees.
Addysen was able to go home, without her twin sibling, March 14. Ayden was discharged mid-afternoon Monday.
The Hesses said their older son has been a good helper.
Dallas had not seen Ayden as of Monday evening but would sit and hold Addysen’s hand, get clean diapers and dispose of dirty clothes.
‘He’s excited because there’s babies,’ Gregory said.
Kristy, a graduate of Pleasure Ridge Park High School in Kentucky, who is on maternity leave from Keller dental lab in Louisville, said Monday evening, ‘I don’t think reality has hit me yet’ that she now has three young children to care for. ‘We didn’t have both of them home until today.’
Grandparents of the Hess twins are Allen and Tonya Ryan of Valley Station, Ky., and James (Buddy) and Maria Grant of Elizabeth. Great-grandparents are Mary Faye Ryan and Freddie Ryan, both of Louisville, William Akridge of Bee Springs, Ky., Joseph Jr. and Patti Hess and Sheryl Chesher, all of Elizabeth, and Charles (Mooch) and Jane Metzmeier of Jeffersonville.
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Less than nine hours after the Hess twins were delivered, Dr. Dunn found herself delivering another set of Leap Day twins.
William (Billy) and Brandi Milan of New Albany said they never expected they’d have twins when they learned on Aug. 4 that Brandi was pregnant for a fourth time. They already had three boys: Tyler, 15; Trenton, 8; and Dayton, 6.
Three weeks later they learned there would be two babies. The only twins on either couple’s side are cousins.
Brandi, 32, said the timing of the unplanned pregnancy was ‘bad,’ as Billy, 34, learned he had lost his job in the woodworking field the same day they learned she was pregnant. She said ‘it became a joke’ because her due date was April 1.
‘I was surprised to hear it would be twins,’ Billy said.
But, ‘it seemed to work out for the best in the long run,’ Brandi said, as her husband took over the housework when her obstetrician put her on bed rest for the last 2-1/2 to three months before the twins arrived. ‘I don’t know how we would’ve done it all.’
Brandi said she played a lot of card games and built with Legos with her younger sons during that time to help keep them occupied.
Dunn, who also delivered the couple’s 6-year-old son, had put Brandi on bed rest after she went into early labor to try to make it to 36 weeks.
‘We made it to 35 weeks and three days,’ Brandi said.
She checked into HCH at 1:05 p.m. on Feb. 28. The next day, Jackson was born at 5:56 p.m., followed by Kaylee four minutes later. Both were 18 inches long, but Kaylee, at 5 pounds, 2 ounces, had the upper hand in weight over her brother, who weighed 4 pounds, 11 ounces.
‘Everyone’s just been really excited, especially when they found out it would be a boy and a girl,’ Brandi said.
The Milan couple, who left HCH with their twins on March 2, said their oldest son was especially happy to finally have a sister.
Tyler, who was at the hospital the following day holding Kaylee, said, ‘Cool. I finally got my sister.’
He predicted she would be ‘extremely’ spoiled.
‘A girl definitely sent everyone into a frenzy,’ Brandi said, adding that she was the last girl on her side of the family and Billy’s side is all boys. ‘I love my boys, but a girl, it’s definitely going to be different.’
‘It will be fun to watch them all together,’ she said.
Grandparents of the Milan twins are James and Barbara Hammett and Peggy Milan, all of New Albany, Richard and Melissa Best of Corydon and the late William Milan. Great-grandmother is Sharon Dalton of New Albany.
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In keeping with the twin theme, Sarah Dougherty, marketing director at HCH, noted that Dr. Dunn was assisted with both deliveries by Dr. Deborah Hall, from Kids First Pediatrics, who has a twin brother.