My terror when I gave birth at 27 weeks and my husband gave birth to our twins on the bathroom floor – The Irish Sun
WHEN Emily Bridges got pregnant with twins, she thought her little family would be complete.
But their dreams were weighed down when she gave birth on the bathroom floor at 27 weeks – with her husband Max, 35, an engineer, forced to step in and deliver their sons.
Parents, from Skipton, North Yorks, faced an agonizing wait to see how their children recovered – but little Zachary tragically survived only three days.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, Emily, 27, NHS administrator, shares her story …
We weren’t expecting twins, so it was a huge surprise when we were told this during our scan.
But once we came up with the idea, we were really excited, thrilled to have the chance to raise two kids. It was like two for the price of one.
Our lives changed forever on November 18 of last year.
We were having a quiet Sunday evening when I started spontaneous labor at 27 weeks and five days. I was not expected before February 13th.
When my waters broke, Max’s instinct kicked in. In just five minutes, he had delivered our babies on the bathroom floor.
Dexter arrived first, followed soon after by Zachary, who was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, but he wasn’t breathing.
Max began to practice CPR while we waited for the paramedics to arrive. Our boys were tiny – Zachary weighed 2 lbs 5 oz, Dexter weighed 2 lbs 4 oz.
We had two separate ambulances – Max went in the first one with Zachary, while I followed with Dexter.
We were really excited to have twins. It was like two for the price of one
It’s only 10 minutes from our house to Airedale Hospital, but I felt like everything was happening in slow motion.
When the paramedics arrived, we thought the worst was over. But it was only just beginning.
Zachary and Dexter were seriously ill and needed specialist help that the hospital could not provide.
Right away, they were placed in what looked like little sandwich bags – to trap the heat and keep the babies warm.
Due to the limited number of neonatal intensive care beds, doctors were talking about separating our boys – moving one to Birmingham and one to Newcastle, even though they are 200 miles apart.
Fortunately, they managed to find beds for the two at Leeds Children’s Hospital.
It was tragic to see our boys so briefly, before they were taken from us. Against medical advice, I left the hospital to be with the rest of my family.
When Max and I were finally allowed to see the boys, we felt baffled and heartbroken. They were hooked up to so many machines and received blood transfusions.
We spent the night in the hospital – it was too intimidating to think that we would be within a 90 minute drive if their condition worsened.
After that, the boys were transferred to Eckersley House, which is run by The Sick Children’s Trust. Parents can stay for free which was another blessing.
We were told the bleeding was so bad it had no chance of survival – the words we dreaded hearing
But we were quickly woken up by staff knocking on our door at 5am. A head scan revealed that Zachary had suffered a catastrophic bilateral brain hemorrhage.
We were told the bleeding was so bad that he had no chance of survival.
These were the words we dreaded, but we knew the time we needed to spend with him was passing quickly.
We spent Zachary’s last hours washing, changing and dressing him. After only three days and 17 hours of life, he passed away peacefully in our arms.
I felt like our world had collapsed, that all of our hopes and dreams had collapsed around us.
We had grown used to the idea of ââhaving two boys, our vision of the future – holding both hands, one on each side – was gone. We were heartbroken.
Fortunately, Dexter continued to improve and was well enough to transfer to Airdale at four weeks.
After five more weeks in intensive care, he finally returned home.
To our knowledge, he has no long term health problems, he is achieving all of his goals.
He said ‘Mom’ for the first time last week and is starting to get up – so he’s doing great.
We had grown used to the idea of ââhaving two boys, our vision of the future was gone. We were heartbroken
Earlier this month, we celebrated the boys’ first birthday, which was bittersweet knowing that Zachary was supposed to be there with us.
We lit a candle for each of them – we have a picture of Zachary and his footprints on our fireplace, so he’s never forgotten
We hold a memorial day for Zachery each year on the day he passes away, November 22, and we will have Dexter draw pictures as he gets older.
We have to find him a place to put his grief, but we cannot force him.
Premature Babies: The Facts
Some 60,000 babies are born prematurely in the UK each year, or around 7% of pregnancies.
But the risk goes up to 57% if you are expecting more than one child.
Being born before 28 weeks is considered “extremely premature” – and accounts for around 5% of all preterm births.
The survival rate of a baby born at 27 weeks is approximately 89%.
EYES CAN’T TAKE IT
EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy is ‘at breaking point’ with hay fever
SUN & GAMES
Inside Peter Andre’s vacation in Portugal – from the pool and yachts to the princess’s tears
Emmerdale’s Danny Miller was filming an explosion when his fiancee revealed her pregnancy
LONG RIDING IN FRONT
Forza Horizon 5 abandons Britain for MEXICO in stunning Xbox 4K trailer
“WE LIVE IN THE AIR”
Breatharian couple claim to have barely eaten in NINE YEARS
In Zachary’s memory, Max and Emily went through a year of challengers – including Max scaling the âThree Summitsâ with an empty buggy on his back, a parachute jump and a Bushtucker trial.
We already spoke to a mom who saw her baby die FIVE TIMES – she was born prematurely weighing 1 pound 6 ounces after getting pregnant on the spool.
Emily and Max fundraise for the Trust for Sick Children. You can support them here.
To donate Â£ 30 to the Sick Children’s Trust Christmas Appeal, which will provide a family with a sick child in hospital with a place to stay over Christmas, please click here.