First Baby(ies) of Year

The Ullom family, with Peyton, baby Grady, Amanda, Jason, baby Griffin and Teryn (Lukes).

The Ullom family, with Peyton, baby Grady, Amanda, Jason, baby Griffin and Teryn (Lukes).

By Marcie Klomp
“We weren’t expecting to be the first babies of the new year,” said Amanda Ullom. No wonder. Her and Jason’s twins weren’t due until last Friday, March 21, but they decided to come early—over two months early—on Jan. 15, 2014!

Daughter Griffin Anne (four pounds, one ounce) is the official first baby born in the Lime Springs Herald area, greeting her parents at 11:28 p.m. Brother Grady Fitzgerald (three pounds 4.5 ounces) was just two minutes behind at 11:30 p.m.

Amanda had been having contractions since Christmas. “They kept saying I would go full term. I did with the other two (Teryn-age nine and Peyton-five).”

She had an appointment in Rochester on Jan. 13 and everything looked fine. At her Jan. 15 ultrasound in Cresco she learned that was not the case, and showed signs of preterm labor.

Grandma Jane Ullom rushed Amanda to Rochester as Jason made his way back from Humbolt, where he was working that day.

There was hardly any room for Dad during the C-section as Griffin, Grady and Amanda each had a team of eight to 10 people. Jason said everyone was very calm and collected, even allowing him some pictures right away, “But I could see the concern in their eyes.”
The main concerns for the babies were, “Grady struggled to breathe on his own and Griffin had a heart rate of 240. They tried different things and then resorted to old school medicine and threw ice on her face! That was only the second time the doctor had seen that done,” Amanda recalled.

The couple couldn’t say enough about the care the twins received at Methodist Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, where Amanda stayed for 48 days. She looked at Grady, who was sleeping in her arms, saying, “They took good care of you guys.”

Jason stayed at Ronald McDonald House on weekends. During that time “family really stepped in to help. It was a group effort,” Amanda smiled.

The babies were finally able to come home on March 4, but visitors were kept at a minimum. Even the big sisters aren’t able to spend much time with their siblings. “When we left, they said to be careful. They can be healthy in the morning and in the hospital that night.” Hand sanitizers are placed strategically around the house to keep as many germs away from the twins as possible.

Since being home, the couple has fallen into a routine. Amanda revealed, “At first we both got up with each of them.” Luckily for their own sanity, they decided to change that up. “Now each one of us gets one of the babies, and the next night we switch. We’re still finding our groove.”

So far that has worked well since Jason has been off for two weeks for paternity leave. This week, he went back to work. Amanda is able to work from home. She is a financial analyst at IBM. She started back to work last week, but doesn’t plan to take the kids to their sitter, Darcy Moser, for another two months.

Even as young as they are, the twins’ personalities are already starting to show. Griffin is mellow, whereas Grady is mor feisty and doesn’t have much patience.

So far the big sisters are excited about the twins. Teryn said, “I think they are actually adorable. Finally a brother!” In fact, Grady is the first Ullom boy in over 28 years! Everyone else had girls. She already has some nicknames. “I call Griffin ‘Honey Bunny,’ and I call Grady ‘Honey Bun.’”

Peyton is equally as excited, “I like to change their diapers.” That will probably change!

After a rough start to their lives, the spunky twins will be crawling and running around before their parents know what hit them!
For being the first baby(ies) of the year, the Ullom family won a fabulous gift package from area business, including a personalized earflap hat with a design of the parents’ choice from Mary’s Crafty Corner; $15 toward groceries from Town & Country Locker; complimentary adjustment for baby and mom with Wemark Chiropractic; $25 gift certificate to KCDs Bar; and a renewal of Lime Springs Herald for one year. Congratulations!

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