Newborn twins thriving despite challenging start with parents' COVID-19

A young Clarkston family is finally all together, now that their newborn twins are home from the hospital. But until we move on from the coronavirus crisis, important moments are sadly missing. 

The story of Mitch and Max began in the beginning of April, born early at 32 weeks - at the same time both Mom and Dad got sick with the coronavirus. 

Jen had no family with her at Beaumont Hospital in Troy as she gave birth, and now, as she and Andre navigate parenthood for the first time, once again, they're on their own.   

"I would very much like to call help in but we've been going on national TV saying listen to your governors, take this virus seriously and we don't want to hypocritical of that. We don't want to put anyone at risk, we don't want to put the babies at risk," Jen says. "At this point, we don't know if they have antibodies against it or not, nobody can seem to tell me an answer about that, if I passed the antibodies to them through the placenta."

Max's brother left the hospital at the end of April, but Max needed special care. So on May 11, after more than a month at Beaumont, baby Max went home. 

"Max was released on Monday but he still has issues on coordinating his breathing and eating, so sometimes he holds his breath when he eats. So you really have to pay special attention to him when we feed him to make sure he doesn't stop breathing, to make sure he doesn't change colors, to make sure he doesn't choke. So we've got to turn on all the lights on at 2 a.m. when we feed him," Jen says. 

Thanks to the kindness of friends, family and strangers - and technology - the Laubachs are getting support and love from a safe distance, with gifts and video chats. But not everything can be replaced. 

"Being in this postpartum phase I really just want a hug from my mom," Jen says. 

"Both boys are named after their grandfather so I had always imagined in my mind, a pic in hospital of both grandfathers holding the boys that were named after them. We still haven't had a chance to get that picture yet," Andre says. "I know it'll happen someday, I can't wait."

Jen and Andre can't wait to tell their boys how tough they are either, surviving a pandemic and born to two parents with the virus. 

And as they wait to be able to invite people in, they do say thank you to everyone who has been so supportive from a distance.