Monday, January 14, 2013

The Story of Ben & Ken

I have been very blessed to become a new Aunt this past year. In May, I married Peyton and I got 4 adorable nieces and 4 cute nephews. Right before my wedding my Sister Colleen announced that she was pregnant. It was such great news and we couldn't have been happier.

About a month after she found out she was pregnant, Colleen went to the doctor and heard two heartbeats. She was having twins! They then discovered that they were going to be two little boys. We couldn't wait to welcome them into the Family. This was the first offspring in the Card clan and it was such unexpected joy! 

Around 27 weeks Colleen went to the Doctor for her glucose test and got some more unexpected news. She was in labor! She was rushed to the hospital and was given medicine through an IV to make her stop having contractions. Those buns were not ready to come out of the oven yet! They even had her lay slightly upside down to make sure the babies didn't get any ideas. Silly, boys. 

About 3 days later, I was in San Diego on vacation when I got the news that Colleen was going to have the babies via C-section. ( It was labor day, by the way. Coincidence?)  She was still 27 weeks along but they had numerous Doctors in the delivery room to make sure the little ones were in good hands. We were all waiting anxiously by our phones to hear the news. 

And then...I received the happiest pictures in the world. They were here! And they were perfect. 

Benjamin Ryu Herr 
2 pounds 2 oz. 13 in. long
September 2nd, 2012

Kenneth James Herr 
2 pounds. 12 in. long
September 2nd, 2012

Yes, they are Ben & Ken. (I can promise you that you will not forget their names now). 

I couldn't believe my eyes. They were so teeny tiny! My sister just had twins. 

My favorite part of the whole experience was Colleen calling me a few hours after surgery (still pretty drugged up) and she yelled "Cat, I did it! I DID IT!!! And there is two of them!!!" I couldn't help but smile.  

Those first few days were very rough. The boys were so premature that their lungs were underdeveloped and they needed a lot of attention. Ken received some blood transfusions and they were both on breathing monitors, feeding tubes and oxygen. Ken also had to spend some time in the tanning bed because he had some jaundice. It seemed like every day something was wrong and at one point we thought Ken would have to get surgery but he was a fighter and the hole in his lungs closed up with some extra steroids.

Each day they were getting bigger and stronger. I loved receiving the newest pictures of them opening their eyes, licking their lips, crying like kittens, and moving their feet for the first time. 

I loved seeing my Sister get to hold them for the first time. They finally got to hold Ben after 2 weeks of holding his hand, and after 4 weeks they got to hold Ken. I couldn't imagine not being able to hold my baby for a month after they were born. 

My sister and Brother-in Law were so strong! They impressed me each day with their strength and love for each other and their boys. 

They got to wear hats and finally get to put clothes on after almost 2 months. This was a big thing for my sister Colleen. (If you don't know her, she has a whole room that is dedicated to her clothes) 

The smallest things were huge improvements. Things people take for granted were huge obstacles for these two little ones. Like their Father who is in the Army these boys were fighters. 

On the 15th of November the Doctor gave them the go ahead to take the boys home. Along with  Monitors, feeding tubes, oxygen tanks and steroid enhanced formula they were ready to go sleep in their own nursery.  

For Christmas my Parents joined Colleen and Lance in Georgia while I enjoyed my first Christmas with the Buhlers. On Christmas day my parents called and surprised me with a plane ticket to finally go meet the boys. I was crying so hard to finally be able to hold them.

I loved spending a week with them. Feeding them, holding them, giving them kisses and talking to them. Every day is an improvement and recently Ken got taken off his oxygen tube and is breathing all on his own! It is so fun to see them getting bigger and bigger every day and knowing that they are developing. Today they both weigh almost 12 pounds. We have been double blessed by these two munchkins. I hope they always know how much their Aunt Cat loves them! 


  1. Great narrative Catherine - I can tell you are a great auntie - you will be the favorite aunt, I can tell!

  2. So sweet :) made me tear up a little. So much love for these little guys! I look forward to being Auntie Em :)

  3. Thanks for posting this! I only knew bits and pieces from Katie.

  4. they are so precious! this made me completely emotional, how cute they are and how lucky you are to be their auntie! glad they are both doing so well and growing!!! i can't believe how litttle they were before!