By Aliki Kraterou
WEIGHING just 3lb combined, Josie Kent, 29, was terrified her tiny miracle twins would die.
After suffering three heart-breaking miscarriages, Josie was over the moon when she first fell pregnant naturally with her twins in January 2018.
But after being delivered 12 weeks early last June by emergency C-section, her twin daughters Evie-May and Lilly-Beth were so tiny – weighing 2lbs and 1lb 10oz – that her engagement ring fit around their feet.
The twins had contracted Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome – which causes uneven blood flow in the womb – and the pair were left fighting for their lives.
Hairdresser Josie and her partner Gareth Rabey, 34, from Par, Cornwall, felt helpless as nurses desperately tried to save their daughters.
Evie May ands Lily Beth were both the same size as Josie’s palm but despite their size, they refused to give up.
After three months in hospital, both of their girls were allowed home and they have just celebrating turning one last month and are hitting all their milestones.
Josie said: “I had been pregnant three times before and we lost of all of them so it was terrifying that it could happen again.
“I was having scans every two weeks as I was carrying twins which is classed as a high-risk pregnancy.
“During the 27 weeks scan the doctors confirmed stage 3 TTTS – it only happens in identical twins where they share one placenta- it has to do with the amount of fluid that is shared between each baby.
“Usually after 24 weeks you are considered in the ‘safe zone’ of TTTS but they found it during my 27 weeks scan- they called it a case of a ‘stuck twin’, all the fluid that was around my smallest one had disappeared and she had stopped growing.
“Evie was the opposite, she had too much fluid around her so her body was working twice as hard to try to pump it all around and was putting a lot of pressure on her organs.
“If they hadn’t had caught it when they did they would have died- they told me they needed to get them out within the next few days otherwise they wouldn’t survive.
“We decided to have the twins delivered at 28 weeks as this gave them a 70 per cent chance of survival whereas the laser ablation ran the risk of 40 per cent that one twin or both could’ve died.
“They were both born at the exact same via C-section which is really rare for twins and they have the same time of birth.
“They were so tiny you could hold them in your palm. I was looking at their tiny little feet and appreciating the wonder of how small they really were and I felt like I needed a comparison so when they grow into strong young babies I’ll always know just how small they were so I took a photo with my engagement ring.
“I was really shocked at how small and frail they looked – I think I was expecting them to look like every other newborn but they were so tiny.
Evie and Lily were then incubated at Derriford Hospital – Lily had a collapsed lung and it was touch and go as doctors tried to stabilise the tiny duo.
The twins spent a period of three-and-a-half months in the hospital in total – Lily needed oxygen tanks at home for a further two months.
But they have since made a full recovery and last month celebrated their first birthday.
Josie added: “I’m so proud of the the girls, they are off all of their support and they have regular check-ups to make sure they meet all of their benchmarks.
“On their first birthday I was overcome with emotions- I cried – not because I was sad but because I was so proud of how far they had come, they had made it.
“Through a whole year of ups and downs with so much uncertainty and yet there they were smiling away at me like nothing had ever happened – they just don’t know how undeniably amazing they really are.”