Parents Capture Photos of Preemie’s First Cuddle With Twin Brother Since Being Separated at Birth

BY Louise Chambers TIMEMarch 31, 2021 PRINT

A premature twin baby, who was born much smaller than her sibling, was separated from her brother at birth due to health concerns. But after successful treatment, the twins were reunited, and their parents captured incredible photos of them cuddling together for the first time.

Parents Laura Hough and Chris Carey, of Walton in the north of England, were warned that baby Neve might not survive. The placenta was deteriorating. And as the smaller twin, Neve suffered compromised blood circulation; she was not getting enough nutrients in utero.

Laura started seeing doctors twice a week.

“They wanted [Neve] to make it to 28 weeks so they were keeping an eye on her blood flow,” said Laura, 27, as reported by the Liverpool Echo, “and because it stayed stable, they pushed it to 30 weeks.”

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Laura Hough and Chris Carey during her pregnancy (Courtesy of Chris Carey)

Neve and her twin brother Louie were growing in separate sacs. His development was healthy, but due to risks posed to his sister’s survival, Laura was admitted to Liverpool Women’s Hospital for an emergency caesarean section on March 8.

Baby Louie was born weighing 3 pounds 3 ounces (approx. 1.45 kg). Neve weighed just 1 pound 7 ounces (approx. 0.65 kg), yet she came out fighting and not even needing to be hooked up to an oxygen supply. “She’s smaller than a baby’s doll but she’s doing so well, she’s unbelievable,” said Laura.

In a surprising turn, it was her twin brother who ended up needing medical assistance.

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Baby Neve after she was born (Courtesy of Chris Carey)
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Newborn baby Louie with his dad, Chris (Courtesy of Chris Carey)

“It was Louie,” the first-time mom explained, “both of his lungs collapsed because he had air in them. So he ended up receiving treatment to drain the air out of his lungs.”

Doctors decided to separate the twins so Louie could receive emergency treatment. It wasn’t until two weeks later that the babies, still dramatically disparate in size, were reunited and placed side by side in the same incubator.

Photos captured by new parents show Neve and Louie lovingly wrapped in each others’ arms and legs, “kissing,” and clasping hands. The heartwarming reunion was shared by the father on Facebook, where the photos went viral.

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Louie (L) and Neve reunited (Courtesy of Chris Carey)
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(Courtesy of Chris Carey)
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(Courtesy of Chris Carey)

“It was horrible when they were separated at birth, but I cried tears of joy when they got back together,” Laura told the BBC. The new parents and their extended family hope to welcome the babies home in May.

Laura said her doctors had never seen a baby like Neve—so tiny, yet strong enough not to require medical intervention. “They said they’ll miss [the twins] when they leave,” she added, “because they need more little fighters like that to keep them going.”

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Louise Chambers is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.
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