A British couple has said they welcomed twins into their family, but with a rare factor—one of them was born with Down syndrome and the other wasn’t.
According to Inside Edition, the parents didn’t know baby Harper had a chromosome disorder until she was born about 38 minutes after Quinn, her twin.
And their parents, Nicola and Todd Bailey, said they wouldn’t change a thing.
“Harper is Harper and Quinn is Quinn,” Nicola told the news outlet. “They are not the same so I try not to compare them, however hard that may be.”
Ultrasound scans didn’t detect the condition, the parents said.
Nicola’s water broke early at around 32 weeks, and her twins were born about a week later, she recalled.
“All I really remember is the doctor saying, ‘I’m sorry,”’ Nicola said after Harper was born. According to the Daily Mail, the parents claimed that the doctor shouldn’t have anything to apologize for.
“But as soon as I saw them both, my heart just melted. They were both so beautiful,” she said, adding that the premature newborns needed additional medical care.
“Our family is unique and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” their mother said.
Harper, according to the report, has a hole in her heart, which is common among children with Down syndrome.
Nicola noted that after her 12-week ultrasound scan, “I did have a weird feeling as I got bigger a lot quicker than my previous pregnancy and was so sick.”
“We just looked at the screen then at each other, completely speechless. My husband went white as a ghost,” she said.
Nicola told the Mail that she is trying to raise awareness about the stigma around children with Down syndrome.
“You do see people staring at her and it’s hard at times as the perception of Down’s syndrome can be so negative,” she said. “We get comments like ‘oh is she a Down’s baby’ or ‘I know a Down’s girl’. She’s not a Down’s baby, she’s a baby with Down’s syndrome.”
She added: “I go to twin baby groups but it’s hard to see other mums with twins, as I know my girls’ bond will be so different to theirs. Harper still needs lots of extra care. She only takes small amounts of feed so we have to make sure she feeds every two hours. But Quinn has hair envy – she has some blonde fuzz while Harper has a brilliant brown mop which we can now tie in a top knot.”
Experts said that the chance of having one twin with Down syndrome is about a one-in-a-million.