Mother's delight for miracle twins
A MOTHER has told how her miracle twins defied the odds to survive after being born more than three months early.
Aisling Byrne only knew she was carrying twins after she had her first scan four and a half months into her pregnancy. Just six weeks later, the two boys arrived without a sound.
"There was no crying when they were born, nothing. We weren't allowed to hold them, they had to be rushed to intensive care," she recalled.
She and her partner Keith Corbally have come a long way since that rollercoaster day in June 2010 and are now busy trying to keep up with their 17-month-olds, Ben and Sam, as they crawl and climb their way about their north Dublin home.
Their story comes as the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street in Dublin today launches a new book for parents of babies in neonatal care.
Children now have better chances of surviving than ever before. Previously babies born weighing 2lb 8oz had a 90pc chance of dying -- now, they have a 90pc chance of survival.
When they were born, Ben weighed 2lb 6oz, while his little brother Sam was 2oz lighter.
Aisling and Keith were eventually able to take them from the incubator for periods of 'kangaroo care' where they held them on their chests under their clothes for skin-to-skin contact.
The boys spent three months in hospital before they were allowed home to Ayrfield Court in Dublin 13.
"They still needed monitors for their breathing . . . but the monitors were kind of a security for us because they would have told us if anything was wrong," said Aisling.
Since then the boys have thrived, although they still require some physiotherapy and regular check-ups because of their prematurity.