A super special surprise! (OR: How the Bunny Family met their youngest kits)
When Mommy Bunny got the call for the Bunny Twins, the already had 3 kits at home, ages 2 to 6. Unfortunately for foster children in the state of Florida, The Bunny Family no longer fosters because they have reached their quota of 5 forever bunnies – all adopted through foster care.
Approximately 4 years ago we received a call from our Licensing Agency. It seemed Fluffy Bunny had two new sisters and they were in the NICU at Florida Hospital South. Fluffy’s twin sisters were born July 29th, a bit earlier than their September 19th due date. We will call Baby A (as the hospital named her) Hippity Hop and Baby B, Thumper.
We met Hippity Hop and Thumper when they were four days old. They were in the NICU with tubes running into their little mouths. Because they were born premature their lungs were underdeveloped and they needed to learn the basic skills needed to survive.
Eating and breathing and swallowing seem pretty basic. But because our bunnies were premature, the parts of their brains that control their mouth and throat reflexes were immature, and they had to learn how to breathe while eating and swallowing.
I can remember the first night we entered the NICU. The staff was very helpful and very kind. Once we proved who we were they accepted us as part of the NICU family. Did I forget to mention that we are white and Hippity and Thumper are African Americans? So when we showed up the first time, it was understandable that the staff questioned us. That I must say is a whole different subject that we can cover at another time.
Anyway, we visited them and fed them through their little tubes. Thumper had a little more trouble learning to tube feed. She hated the tube in her mouth and fought to remove it the best she could. The doctors and nurses changed her tube and put it through her nose. We knew she was doing better when she actually pulled it out as she grew stronger. You see, these two bunnies started out approximately 2 lbs. Their weight fluctuated throughout their visit in the NICU. Our goal was 5lbs so they could come home.
For those of you not familiar with Central Florida geography, we live over an hour from Florida Hospital South, with traffic. We visited every night for 4 weeks until Hippity came home and then I went alone each night to visit Thumper until she came home a week later.
As foster parents it was difficult not to fall in love with these two from the beginning. We had already decided to adopt Fluffy and the process was in the works. Unfortunately, not knowing what would happen to these two beauties worried us. Then we asked ourselves can we do two more…..GEEZ!
There was also the issue of bio mom. Dad was unknown. Within the first week the nurses asked us about bio mom. They were frustrated because she had called that day and didn’t have the medical pin number to receive information about the twins. Now this could have been easily solved by contacting her case worker and getting the pin however instead of calling the case worker the bio mom continued to call, had her family members call and harassed the staff about how unfair they were being to her. We mentioned this to the case worker and she gave bio mom the pin. According to the nurses, bio mom never called again.
Once home as you can imagine we had double bunny duties. Not only at home but in court and case worker visits. The case worker was never able to contact bio mom for visits so she saw them just once, the day they were born. Luckily, because we finalized Fluffy’s adoption before the twins were a year old, their TPR was expedited. Adoption was next and the story continues… now we have a house full.
THEN WE ALMOST LOST THEM BOTH……maybe I’ll tell you about that next time!