THE twins born 87 days apart are preparing to spend their first Christmas together.
The proud parents of miracle babies Amy and Katie Jones-Elliott cannot wait to enjoy their “first real Christmas” with their precious daughters.
The sisters made international headlines last summer when they were born almost three months apart.
Amy arrived 24 weeks before she was due on June 1, 2012, weighing just 1lb 3oz.
Katie arrived on August 27, after weeks of round the clock supervision in Waterford Regional Hospital, at a healthier 5lb 10oz.
Their mother Maria said that she is excited about this Christmas, as last year they had their Kilkenny home on “lockdown”.
“Last year we had the place on total lockdown because they might have gotten sick, so I don’t remember a lot about it believe or not,” Maria told the Herald.
The family were then forced to protect their little girls from any risk of infection, as Amy was born so early.
“It was just ourselves here last Christmas. My husband was on nights, so he was in bed, so it was just ourselves here.
“This year, we are going to have our dinner by ourselves, but then we will go and visit their grandparents,” Maria said.
The twins are now almost 19 and 16 months old, and have older siblings Olivia (14) and Jack (12). They made their first visit to Santa last week.
Their mother feels they are still too young to understand fully what is going on, but that they enjoy saying “ho, ho, ho”.
“They are getting a learning activity centre from Santa. Amy was recently diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder, so this will help with her hand-eye coordination,” she added.
The twins are now beginning to develop their own strong personalities, and it seems that Katie is the confident one.
“They know when the other is in a bad mood or whatever, but at the same time, if Amy has something nice in her hand – like a biscuit or something – Katie has no problem taking it off of her.”
Maria is now encouraging parents of premature babies to visit the Foundation of Irish Premature Babies website, as she feels it has lots of useful support and advice for parents.
“It is a very hard time of year for parents if they have a premature baby in the hospital. It’s a very good website for support.”