Magical family time for twins born months apart
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 global headlines last summer when they were born nearly three months apart. Amy arrived 16 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 she is excited about this Christmas as last year they were on "lockdown, to protect the girls from any risk of infection as Amy had been born so early.
"It was just ourselves here last Christmas. My husband was on nights, so he was in bed.
"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). Their mother feels that are still too young to understand entirely what is going on with Santa's visit, 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 co-ordination," Maria said.
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, but at the same time, if Amy has something nice in her hand -- like a biscuit -- Katie has no problem taking it off of her."
Maria is encouraging parents of premature babies to visit the Foundation of Irish Premature Babies website.
"It is a very hard time of year for parents if they have a premature baby in the hospital, trying to divide themselves in two.
"If anybody is feeling stressed out, it's a very good website to go to for support."