Michelle gave birth to twins at just 24 weeks. Sadly they were born so prematurely that they died.
"My husband and I were trying to get pregnant for a long time. In the end, we discovered that the only way we could have a baby was through IVF. The first round didn’t work but the second time I was told that I was pregnant with twins. I’m not very tall so with twins I was huge and felt quite uncomfortable. A day before I reached 24 weeks I went into labour.
I gave birth to a little boy and girl. The boy was born alive but his water had suffocated my little girl and she was stillborn. As he was under 24 weeks, the hospital was unable to resuscitate him. I only really remember bits and pieces of this, I was shell-shocked and couldn’t process anything, especially not the hospital staff asking me to sign a 'Do not resuscitate' order.
We kept trying
Six months later we tried again but I didn’t get pregnant, my body had gone through so much that the doctors thought it was too distressed to take on another pregnancy. Four months later we tried again but this time I had an ectopic pregnancy and miscarried. A few months later we gave the IVF one last shot. It had cost us such a lot and we decided we couldn’t do it again.
This time round I fell pregnant. I was pregnant with twins again, which terrified me in one respect but in another made me think that my twins had come back to me. Everyone around me was incredibly scared and some people couldn’t even talk to me because they didn’t know what to say, that was something that I found really difficult.
Henry and Poppy arrive
I went into labour while watching Desperate Housewives and Poppy and Henry were delivered by an emergency caesarean, weighing 4lb 12oz and 4lb 15oz. They were healthy and well but because they weighed less than 5lbs they were taken to the Special Care Baby Unit.
Henry and Poppy are now 2-and-a-half years old and those 2-and-a-half years have been the best years of my life. But I will never forget my first twins. If I regret anything from that time, it is that I didn’t name them.
I wanted to share my story with Sparks to give strength to others who have had similar experiences and to highlight the work that Sparks is doing to change the outcome for babies born prematurely. People don’t realise how many twins are born prematurely and why this happens. The work that Sparks does continuously helps parents who have had a premature baby and also works to understand why it happens and how it can be prevented. Sparks is a truly wonderful charity, devoted to children and their families."
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