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Despite best efforts, my twin girls had their own plans

After the initial shock of seeing two little ‘sprouts’ in our first scan at only 6 weeks, we had a wonderful pregnancy journey as first-time parents, until their surprise appearance at 32 weeks

This is Samantha’s story:

At 31 weeks pregnant, we were told that we were in labour and that the babies could be arriving within a couple of days. Things got a little hectic from here and I was given some steroid injections and things to try and boost the babies lungs for support on the outside world and some medication to try and stop contractions.

After a few phone calls from my obstetrician, we were transferred from the Ballarat private hospital via ambulance to the Mercy hospital in Melbourne. We had also put the midwives into a spin as they had to call on extra staff to cover for a midwife who had to travel in the back of the ambulance with me to monitor my contractions and be there in case I was to deliver as this would be outside of the paramedic’s scope.

After a week in Melbourne being back and forth from the labour room to the ward, we were lucky enough to be transferred back to Ballarat. The plan was to lay low and try and pass a few more weeks with the babies on the inside but turns out they had their own plans as the next night we were in theatre for an emergency caesarean. Although we had planned for a caesarean, this was still a bit crazy and unplanned timing etc.

Breathing on their own

We were very lucky that the girls, although born at 32+5 weeks, were healthy and able to breathe on their own without support. The girls were straight to the special care nursery in their humidicribs hooked up to monitors and IV drips. Twin A is Charlotte who was born at 1810g and Twin B is Madelyn who was born at 1570g.

The tough part for me was that I was only able to be wheeled past the girls on the way back to my room and shown photos of them. This was really tough! We didn’t know what gender our twins were and while it was still nice to hear this from my partner, it wasn’t how we had imagined it would be. I also wasn’t allowed into the nursery until the next day due to a few reasons but I was keen and excited to get there.

Discharged without my babies

If I thought that was hard enough, the worse was to be a week later, when I was discharged from the hospital, without my babies. No parents plan or expect this to happen, even more so as first-time parents. While I knew they had to be in special care and was certainly the best place for them it was really tough!

As the days went on, it became a little easier being away from them and was soon in a routine of being with the girls all day and doing feeds, nappy changes and cuddles as much as possible but then home of a night time. This was our routine and first experience of parenthood for six weeks until the girls were at a stable weight and feeding correctly without tubes and we could go home as a family!

Off to a great start

To this day, I still cannot thank the team of midwives that looked after the girls but also us while we were there. We looked at the bright side during our stay with being able to have the extra support and learn some hints and tips along the way when it came to feeding, sleeping and nappy changing etc. The midwives were even nice enough to have the girls into a feeding routine (standard) but a bonus for us for when we got home!

Our girls are now 4, will be 5 in December and wouldn’t even know that they were little premmies weighing under 2kgs!


Share your story

Have you found comfort in reading other parents’ stories? We get lots of grateful feedback on how reading these personal stories help new parents to cope with their own experience. Every family has a unique and important story to share. Share your journey and celebrate your story below.


Rebecca Strahan

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