A set of ‘momo’ twins have become tiny celebrities at Sunderland hospital.
Overjoyed parents, Andrew Oxley and Stacey Eggleston, say their twins, Jenna and Jayda, could have died at any time in the womb, but thanks to the dedication of staff at Sunderland Royal Hospital, they were delivered safely on Good Friday.
The twins are the first of their kind born in Sunderland in the last 30 years.
The couple were left shell-shocked when they were given the news at about 13 weeks into the pregnancy that the babies were ‘momo’ identical twins and had just a 50/50 chance of surviving.
Momo - Monochorionic Monoamniotic - means the babies share just one placenta and one amniotic sac, it can be as rare as one in 94,000 live births.
At 31 weeks into the pregnancy, doctors decided it was time to deliver the twins by ceasarian section, with Jenna, who had the cord wrapped around her head twice, weighing in at 3lbs 8oz and Jayda, 3lb 9oz.
It was the worst pregnancy, both emotionally and painwiseStacey Eggleston
Andrew, 27, said: “The hospital told us they hadn’t had twins like this for 36 years, so most of the staff had never dealt with it. But, they were all absolutely superb throughout, we are so, so lucky to have the consultant we had and all the teams involved.”
Stacey, 32, who lives in Houghton, with her other children, Cameron, 13, Leighton, 11, Hannah, nine and three-year-old Isabelle, said it was the most traumatic pregnancy she could imagine, with daily scans and tests, each time terrified it would be bad news.
She said: “They sat us down and told us straight there was a high chance the babies could die at any time. It was the worst pregnancy, emotionally and painwise as well. I was so stressed and tired.
“But, the twins are definitely 100% worth it, they are absolutely gorgeous.”
Stacey, who started going out with Andrew, who has a seven-year-old daughter, Amelia, a year ago, said it has certainly been a roller-coaster ride and the babies are getting a lot of attention in the hospital because they are so rare.”
She said: “Everyone is coming to look at them and whoever you tell, just says ‘wow’ they can’t believe it. I can’t thank the staff enough, they have been absolutely amazing.”
Andrew said during one of the regular monitoring sessions, consultants became a bit concerned about slight dips in the babies’ heart rates and they were delivered at 12.30am on Good Friday.
He said: “It was amazing to see, the cords looked like they were plaited together.”
The couple particularly wanted to thank Helen Cameron, who provided antenatal care, and midwives, Jamie Renilson, Vicky Worth and Hannah White.
Sheila Ford, Head of Midwifery at Sunderland Royal Hospital, said: “We haven’t seen another case in Sunderland in the last 30 years.
“This was a complicated pregnancy because of the risk to the babies of becoming tangled in each other’s cords. Because of this, Stacey had to attend twice a day for close monitoring.
“The maternity team led by Alex Mortimer, Consultant Obstetrician and Simon Williams, Senior Obstetric Trainee, safely delivered Stacey at 31 weeks when complications were recognised.
“The twins are both doing well in our neonatal intensive care unit. We are delighted that the family had a positive experience and that the babies are continuing to do so well. It’s always great to have feedback from our patients and I’m sure that all the team involved will be very proud.”