The past year has been full of changes and surprises for a Petal couple.
Cameron Robertson, a Petal native, married Paige Crane of Waynesboro on April 13, 2019, and, on March 22, 2020, the couple welcomed identical twins Beckett Reed and Evan George into the world.
The babies were born at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg, and Beckett holds the coveted title of big brother. He was born one minute before Evan.
Paige was admitted to the hospital in early March – right around the time the COVID-19 pandemic hit Forrest County – and endured a 13-day hospital stay before the babies made their entrance into the world.
“I was admitted to the hospital with pre-eclampsia the week the coronavirus started happening locally, so that was quite an experience,” she said. “I couldn’t have visitors.”
The babies were born at 29 weeks and required lengthy hospital stays.
Evan, born at 3 pounds, 2 ounces, was in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, for 45 days.
Big brother Beckett, born at 2 pounds, 9 ounces, was a NICU resident for 52 days.
“They had to grow and get a little more mature before they could come home,” said Paige.
Evan came home on May 6 and now weighs 5 pounds, 4 ounces.
Beckett was released from the hospital on May 13 and now weighs 4 pounds, 7 ounces.
“They’re doing great. They’re home and happy,” she said. “They’re good little babies, and we’re lucky in that sense.”
Paige said the babies received extraordinary care from the NICU.
“Forrest General’s NICU is amazing,” she said. “We could not have asked for better doctors and nurses. They cared not only for the babies, but they cared for us as parents. We couldn’t see our babies together; we had to go see them separately, and the staff made sure we had everything we needed. They went above and beyond. We could not say better things about them.”
The couple picked the names “Beckett” and “Reed” from a list of baby names on the internet.
“Evan” is Paige’s grandmother’s maiden name, and “George” is her grandfather’s middle name.
For now, the couple can tell the babies apart, but Paige admitted it’s becoming more and more difficult.
“They look a little bit different, and Beckett is a little smaller,” she said. “We’re learning, and we’re trying not to mix them up. Once their weight gets equal, it’s going to be really hard to tell them apart.”
Paige, who is the director of communications for Visit Hattiesburg, started her maternity leave when Evan came home, and she is looking forward to 10 more weeks of quality time at home with the twins.
Cameron, who works as a dispatcher for trucking company Legend, is also soaking up all the time he can with the babies, said Paige.
“We’re so excited to have them home,” she added. “We were shocked to find out we were having twins ... and then finding out they were identical was even more of a shock. We’re blessed and happy.”