Miracle ‘micro-prem’ twins were born at 24 weeks – but look at them now!
“I fell pregnant while on honeymoon, but shortly into the pregnancy realised it wasn’t a normal pregnancy."
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Raeesa Davids (23) and husband Saadat Daniels (29) fell pregnant on their honeymoon in September last year.

Little did they know their twin bundles of joy, Ayla and Nayla, would make their appearance just 24 weeks later!

Raeesa shares their story with YOU.

“I fell pregnant while on honeymoon, but shortly into the pregnancy realised it wasn’t a normal pregnancy.

I fell very ill and the complications became more and more evident, where the simplest of tasks became too strenuous and I required constant assistance, coupled with me having low blood pressure.

On Saturday 4 February I felt intermittent piercing sharp pains. As the pains started getting shorter and a lot more painful, my husband rushed me to Netcare Garden City Hospital.

Upon arriving at the hospital the pains had subsided, but the doctors wanted to have me admitted for observation. With the pains practically gone I declined and opted to see my gynaecologist first thing Monday morning, and returned home.

On Monday, I met with Dr RB Mia. He suggested an ultrasound, and to our surprise, I was in labour at 24 weeks. One baby was on the way and the other was breech. Dr Mia made it clear that the chances of survival for the babies was slim to none, and an emergency C-section was required.

After phoning numerous doctors, who declined to take on our high-risk daughters, Dr Mia finally got confirmation that Dr E Moosa was willing to take on their high risk. He too advised that we should brace for the worst.

At 10.44 am on 6 February, both girls were born. At 500g each, neither my husband nor I could hold them. There was no expectant cry, just a dead silence as Dr Moosa and one of the nurses rushed off with our daughters.

And that’s where our long road started…

I lay heavily medicated, still no word nor sight of my daughters. An hour later, Dr Moosa came to my room and said my husband could meet our daughters. Still too weak to move, I had to wait.

Although excited, there was a look of fear in his eyes when he returned. He said, “They’re okay, they look like you,” and so we decided to name them Ayla and Nayla Daniels.

They were seen as micro-prem, and throughout their seven-month stay in hospital, they had to be resuscitated numerous times. 

Nayla needed to go for surgery on her PDA valve as it wouldn’t close with the medication as her sister’s Ayla did. But the babies developed an infection named Candida, and the surgery had to be postponed. Then miraculously, Nayla developed an additional vein and she no longer had to have the surgery.

Other complications included their drips causing their veins to burst, with a professor having to insert broviac lines. They were on numerous machines, including ventilators and incubators; they had to have nasal prongs and all along my husband and I were still not permitted to hold or touch our daughters due to their weak immune systems.

It was a continuous back-and-forth between various machines. One week they would progress and the next, regress. But on 28 April 2017, more than three months after birth, we were permitted to kangaroo our daughters [a technique of newborn care where babies are kept skin-to-skin with a parent], holding them for the very first time since birth.

It was an emotional roller coaster being at the hospital every day, and the nurses became like family and supported us through the happy and hard days and all the laughs and tears. Between family and friends we received a lot of support in many ways, which really assisted us in getting through the ordeal.

Nayla was discharged at five-and-a-half months at 2.1 kg and Ayla at seven months at 2.8 kg. Ayla was due to be discharged earlier but her lung collapsed and it was not looking good at all. She was put on an oscillator machine, sedated, and miraculously she pulled through.

With lots of prayer and faith she pulled through and made a full recovery, and was discharged a few weeks later.

The girls are home now and doing well; they are, of course, a bit different from the average nine-month-old baby when it comes to milestones such as sitting and crawling.

Until their first birthday, they will have to visit their pediatrician and eye specialist every four weeks, as they are still high risk.

All the scars on them are heartbreaking but a reminder that with faith, miracles can happen. That’s why the hospital staff call them their miracle twins.”

This story was submitted to YOU and has been minimally edited. Do you have a story to share? E-mail it to Pam.Magwaza@you.co.za.

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