Born at 26 weeks
A dad shares the story of the dramatic arrival of his premature twins.
My wife, J, and I were living and working in Pretoria after being retrenched in Cape Town and transferred to Pretoria in 1997. Having been married since 1992 we relished the opportunity of this new chapter in our lives.
One day in 2000, J phoned and said we should make an appointment at Linksfield Clinic, they specialise in in vitro fertilisation. This was a bit of a surprise! We had always kept an open mind regarding offspring and occasionally had the discussion of having or not having.

We found out that after J was afflicted by TB, her tubes were all wonky and not working properly.
And this is where our journey began - tests, injections, tests, specimens, cultivate - and eventually 3 eggs were deposited. The wait was nerve-wracking to say the least and we were eventually notified that we were pregnant with twins – due some time in June .

The pregnancy went OK, including the usual visits to the gynae as well as the tests. We talked about moving back home to Cape Town, to be close to the family as well as J getting some help with the twins. We also checked on if there would be any problems if we travelled, as we would be going to Cape Town for holiday in December.
All was well and we set off for our holiday and to show off my 6-month pregnant wife. We were booked to fly back to Pretoria 8 Jan 2002.

Seems that twins Christopher and Caitlin had other ideas because on the morning of the 5th Jan, J woke up with some pain and uncomfortable feeling. We went to the closest hospital, but unfortunately they did not have an emergency section and had to wait for a doctor which I was not prepared to do.

We then went to Louis Leipoldt Hospital and J was examined in the emergency section. She first had to be admitted by a local gynaecologist (they had in the meantime paged the on-call gynae). Oldest twin Caitlin was at this time in the birth canal. Eventually the gynae arrived and actually took J to Panorama Hospital in his beemer (he said he couldn't wait for the ambulance).
I don't know how J was handling this but I was a sack of nerves. I tried to be strong for her - not that she needed it - she seemed calm as things were unfolding, even after being told there wasn't time for an epidural. She was taken to the delivery room where Caitlin kinda just popped out.

Because Christopher was lying skew, a C-section was needed for him to be born. Their birth weights were 925g and 1015g respectively, at 26 weeks of gestation. They were taken care of by the best surrogate mothers you could wish for at the Panorama Neonatal ICU. It was 3 months for Christopher and 5 for Caitlin before they eventually came home.
Today they are sprightly 8-year-old 3rd graders, blessings from heaven.

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