For new grandparents, it was baby times five

•Click here to read more about micro preemies Dylan and Hayden Moan of Elk River.

•Mother of the Moan twins writes about the journey on Caring Bridge. Click here to read more.

by Joni Astrup

Associate editor

Two pairs of tiny footprints and the words “Miracles Do Happen” decorated the front of Karen DuChene’s pink T-shirt.

Front bottom left, clockwise: Hayden Moan, Dylan Moan, Emerson Moonen, Macen Moe and Emmett Moe.
Front bottom left, clockwise: Hayden Moan, Dylan Moan, Emerson Moonen, Macen Moe and Emmett Moe.

The footprints belong to her micro preemie twin granddaughters, born four months early on Jan. 11.

The little girls are the first grandchildren for DuChene and her husband, Rick, of Otsego. Karen DuChene gets tears in her eyes talking about them.

The DuChenes have been married for 35 years and have four daughters. Karen DuChene figured they would have grandchildren sooner or later. What she wasn’t expecting was five grand babies in quick succession.

Identical twin sisters and micro preemies Dylan and Hayden Moan were the first to arrive. Their parents are Kristin and Eric Moan of Elk River.

Three more grand babies would soon follow.

Fraternal twin brothers Emmett and Macen Moe were born March 8 to Jodi and Ron Moe of Monticello, and Emerson Moonen arrived on April 22 to parents Laura and Jeremy Moonen of St. Cloud.

A fourth daughter, Amy DuChene, lives in Minneapolis and has plans to be the best aunt ever.

“I tell everyone I have five grandchildren all under nine pounds by three of my four daughters,” Karen DuChene said.

If all the babies had been born when they were due, there would have been five babies in 11 days, she said.

Her youngest daughter, Jodi Moe, was the first to tell her mother that she was expecting. A week later, daughter No. 3, Laura Moonen, shared similar news with her mother.

Two days later daughter No. 1, Kristin Moan, also told her mother she was pregnant.

All asked their mother to keep the news a secret because they didn’t want their other sisters to be sad because they weren’t pregnant yet. The news of the three pregnancies finally came out when Karen DuChene encouraged Kristin Moan to tell the others.

Then when the ultrasounds began coming in, what was expected to be three babies from three daughters turned into five babies — two sets of twins and one solo baby.

“Twins don’t run in our family,” Karen DuChene said, “but I guess they do now.”