Poppy & Jessica Jennions's story
On the 26th February 2018 we found out I was pregnant after 5 weeks of severe morning sickness i had my first scan at 13 weeks and we were told we were expecting identical twins. We kept the gender a surprise.
At 19 weeks our babies developed twin to twin transfusion and had to have life-saving surgery inside the womb. Thankfully the surgery was a success and my pregnancy continued normally.
However at 29 weeks and 6 days on the 25th August 2018 our babies decided now was the time to enter the world. My waters broke spontaneously at 7:10pm and we rushed to Queen Alexandra hospital in Portsmouth. Poppy was born at 8:32pm weighing 2lb 13 and her sister Jessica was born 4 minutes later at 8:36pm weighing 3lb 1. Both girls were born naturally however I barely got to see them, they let out a little cry but needed to be taken straight to the NICU to help their undeveloped lungs.
The next morning on our first wedding anniversary we got to see our girls. They were in incubators surrounded by wires and were on ventilators to help them breath and had a nasal gastric tube in their nose for feeding. They also had to go under the phototherapy lamp as they had jaundice. Amazingly the next day they were on the nasal prongs to help them breath and no longer needed the ventilator. They were on and off the phototherapy lamp for a couple weeks until their jaundice had gone. When the girls were one week old we finally got to have our first cuddles with.
At ten days old they were stable enough to be transferred to St Richards hospital in Chichester where we had originally planned to give birth. Here they reached milestone after milestone. Such as first double cuddles, first time having a bath, first time wearing clothes, first time having a bottle. We had a few scary moments when the girl’s oxygen levels would drop to less than 20 percent. The determination of them was inspiring. We were very lucky that their main problem was learning to breath by themselves and that they just needed to grow big and strong. They had low iron levels which caused anaemia, and they had an open valve in their heart but overtime these issues sorted out by themselves and the doctors explained that it was very common for premature babies to have this.
After 7 long emotional weeks in hospital we got to take our babies home. They were 50 days old and would have been 37 weeks gestation. They come home only needing a tiny amount of oxygen. They had mastered bottle feeding just a couple days before so no longer needed the NG tube.
Leaving hospital was an amazing feeling and we felt so proud of our girls. But we were also leaving our safety blanket and leaving what had become normal for us. The first few days at home we’re hard, lots of happiness, worries and tears.
We soon became used to our family routine at around 14 weeks old they no longer needed their oxygen.
Now the girls are 14 and half months old, they’re crawling and learning to walk, they can say a handful of words and love to dance and play chase with each other. We will be forever grateful to all the doctors, nursery and midwifes for giving our babies the best start in life. Our girls just continue to amaze us and make us proud every day. Mummy and Daddy love you Poppy and Jessica.