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Parents who beat COVID-19 wait 20 days to meet their newborn twins

No parent plans for their babies to be born early, and they especially don’t plan for them to be born during a worldwide pandemic. But that’s just what Jennifer and Andre Laubach faced with the birth of their twins Maksim and Mitchell while fighting COVID-19 themselves.

When Jennifer’s water broke on April 2, eight weeks before her due date, both her and Andre were battling COVID-19 symptoms including violent coughing, shortness of breath and fatigue. Due to his asthma, Andre’s symptoms were far more severe. He raced around trying to pack Jennifer’s bag for the hospital, but by the time he got back downstairs, Andre was coughing violently, was gasping for air and was unable to speak. “I was worried I might not see him again,” said Jen, who jumped behind the wheel to take herself to Beaumont Troy after calling 911 for Andre. “I was afraid he was going to die in his sleep, all by himself.”

When she arrived, she was considered presumptive positive for COVID-19 and was placed in a negative pressure room specifically designed for these patients. At 5 a.m. the following morning, Jennifer had her first contraction and sent Andre a text saying, “we are having babies”. Mitchell was born at 9:41 a.m. weighing 3 pounds and Maksim was born at 9:51 a.m. weighing 4 pounds. Jennifer was unable to hold them, and they were quickly whisked off to isolation to prevent them from catching the virus.

The Laubach’s would go three weeks without meeting their boys while they recovered, but the staff at Beaumont’s Troy’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit rallied around the tiny, preemie twins to keep them safe and healthy. They even arranged virtual calls, so Jennifer and Andre could see Mitchell and Maksim while they were being cared for in the NICU.

On April 23, the Laubach’s got to meet and hold their sons, who both tested negative for COVID-19, while still wearing face masks for protection. “I just want people to take this virus seriously and not take your loved ones for granted,” says Jennifer, who added she still does not know how or where she caught the virus.

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