Meet Katie (L) and Amy of County Kilkenny in Ireland. They were born 87 days apart in a delivery that doctors have never seen before.
The old joke is “Irish Twins” are siblings who have the same birth year, but were born nine months apart, but Katie and Amy are Irish Twins that have an incredible story surrounding their birth that will redefine the term as “miraculous”.
There mom, Marie Jones-Elliot went into labor four months ago, and gave birth to Amy. Premature births are not unusual when the Mom is carrying twins, although at 24 weeks, it was a little too early for her OB/GYN’s liking. At that early date, both babies lives were in peril.
Amy has born at a frightfully small 1 lb. 4 oz., and was rushed to intensive care at the Waterford Regional Hospital in their hometown. It was at that point, things got unusual. Extremely unusual.
Marie’s birth contractions, the machination in the human body that allows for birth, stopped. It was like she had never given birth. Doctors debated about inducing her the next day, but when the contractions didn’t return on their own, they decided to wait it out.
The wait took three months.
As Amy clung to life in the Neo-natal intensive care unit, Marie wondered about the fate of the second child still inside her.
‘I viewed it as a mission to take the pregnancy on as far as I possibly could. There was no room for negative thoughts or fears.
‘I looked at me and the staff as a team. All I wanted was for them to grow and be safe, wherever they had to do it. And as the days and weeks passed the tiny life growing inside me got stronger.’
Finally, on August 27, Katie was born at 36 weeks, healthy at 5 lbs, 10 oz. By that time, Amy, still not out of the woods, weighed in at 4 lbs.
The birth is eligible for the Guiness Book of World Records for the “longest interval between birth of twins”, eclipsing the old record of 84 days, set by Lynn twins from Danville, PA in 1996.
Experts say that in medical terms, with only around a 40 per cent chance of survival for both twins, the Elliott twins’ story is the ‘equivalent of a lottery win’.
Consultant Obstetrician Dr Eddie O’Donnell at Waterford Regional Hospital who was in charge of the delivery team said: ‘I never expected to see anything like this in my career.’ He told Britain’s Daily Mail:
‘Generally when a woman begins delivering twins, the uterus contracts and expels both babies within an hour. But Maria’s uterus stopped contracting and Katie was left in the womb. ‘At first, we began to induce Katie’s birth but Maria’s uterus then stopped contacting completely – a rare event – so we decided it was safer for Katie to stay where she was and let nature take it’s course. ‘We took an educated decision here as both babies were so small but Katie had more of a fighting chance staying put. However, it was not without some risk for both Maria and Katie of potential life-threatening infection.’As a result, both were constantly monitored by medical staff. But the flip side is every day still inside the womb makes a big difference in terms of survival for a baby of that age. And in Katie’s case this paid off.