UK’s most premature twins celebrate first Christmas at home
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The UK's most premature twins will be spending their first Christmas at home this year.
Miracle babies Harry and Harley were born at a tiny 22 weeks, with medics warning parents Jade and Steve that the twins would likely not survive.
Even 12 weeks later, when the little ones spent Christmas 2021 in hospital, they feared it would be their first and last.
But now, 14 months on from their birth and the twins are finally ready to celebrate Christmas at home in Derbyshire.
“My babies were given a 0 percent chance of survival and no quality of life, and now they are home, happy and laughing," Jade explained.
“Christmas so far has been magical, it’s everything I always wanted and I have to pinch myself, when I think about how lucky we are to have them home.
“We are looking forward to sitting down at the table and enjoying a messy Christmas dinner together and that’s just everything to me.
“Last year they were in an incubator, wearing just a nappy, so this Christmas I have bought lots of cute Christmas outfits.
“I’ve waited my entire life for this, after 11 years of infertility battles and the twin’s first year, I pulled out all the stops to make all those first memories, we couldn’t do last Christmas.
“Last year they were smaller than elf on the shelf, so we will be starting that tradition too.”
The babies were born weighing just 1lb each, and spent five months in hospital before they were able to go home in March this year.
This Christmas, the family will also return to the hospital ward.
“We have made care packages for the other families. We know what they are going through and how fortunate we are and how different it could have been," said Jade.
“We just wanted to show other parents we understand, you don’t ever forget what it’s like to have a premature baby.
“Christmas is a reflective time and I can’t put into words how grateful we are. Last Christmas we thought it might be our last with them.
“The twins were born 18 weeks early, so I expected to still be pregnant at Christmas and they were so fragile, we lived minute to minute, hour by hour, then slowly day by day."
Jade explained she knew the little ones were fighters, and they even turned a corner on Christmas Eve.
“From the day they were born until Christmas Eve, nurses knew It wasn’t wise for me to leave the hospital, so I never went home," she continued.
“But they turned a corner on Christmas Eve and nurses reassured me they were stable enough for me to leave the hospital for just a couple of hours.
“Steve and I then spent Christmas Day with them and despite still being so tiny, I knew in my heart we would have more than one Christmas with them.
“I knew they were fighters and we would one day bring them home.”