When first-time mom Joanne Reilly’s water broke 16 weeks early, she was shocked; however, what really left the mom, who was expecting twins, dumbfounded was that she gave birth to the boys two days apart.
The 32-year-old police officer from Swinton, Manchester, told Caters News Agency that she was having a rather smooth pregnancy with hardly any sickness or weird cravings, and was enjoying every second of it.
Even a week prior to when her water broke, Joanne recalls her scan didn’t show anything possibly wrong. “So I was very confused and panicked when my waters had broken at 24 weeks and five days,” she said.
As her water broke in January 2019, Joanne rushed to St.Mary’s Hospital along with her partner, Anthony, and a few hours later, she was already in labor.
On Jan. 10 at 4:43 a.m., Dylan arrived in the world weighing a mere 1 pound, 10 ounces (approx. 737 g). However, he was in a “poor state” and needed to be resuscitated within 30 minutes of his birth.
“We almost lost him which was very traumatic,” the mom of two said. After Dylan’s birth, he was whisked to the NICU, and Joanne’s labor stopped.
Joanne braced herself to push for the second time, but hours passed and “nothing happened.” The medical personnel at the hospital advised the mom to be on strict bed rest, as they hoped that Joanne would be able to carry the second baby up until the full term of the pregnancy because he was in his own amniotic sac and would be able to survive by himself.
“I was shocked as I didn’t know that was possible,” Joanne said, recalling that moment. “In a way, I just wanted [my second son] to come too as it felt weird having one but not the other.”
Meanwhile, the worried mother wasn’t allowed to visit Dylan in the NICU, as she was advised by doctors to be on complete bed rest to ensure that the second baby would have a better chance of development. Thus, she watched Dylan from an iPad on an incubator.
“It is horrible seeing your tiny baby in an incubator and there is nothing you can do,” Joanne shared.
Unbeknownst to the mom, two days after, on Jan. 12 at 10:39 a.m., baby Oscar was born weighing 2 pounds (approx. 907 g).
However, unlike his older brother, Oscar arrived without any medical complications despite being born two days apart. “We always say the extra two days did Oscar the world of good as he had zero complications and was taken off the ventilation first,” Joanne said.
Two weeks after their boys’ birth, Joanne could finally hold her twins, and described them as “delicate and poorly.”
For the first few months that followed after their birth, Dylan and Oscar were kept apart. When they turned 3 months old, the boys started to share a cot.
During this period, Joanne was worried if the two would be able to form a special sibling bond since they had spent the initial days of their life apart; however, the now-19-month-old twins are thriving and are affectionate toward each other.
“[T]hey are very much aware that they are twins—they can’t settle without one another,” Joanne said. “If one leaves the room, then the other will cry. They also love to annoy one another.”
The special preemies, who have had no major complications, even have an Instagram account, where Joanne chronicles the adventures of their tiny and playful lives.
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