When a good friend of mine told me that her twin boys were born about 20 hours apart, I was shocked. I had never considered that so much time could elapse after you delivered one baby. Well, as it turns out, that was nothing compared to the time between the births of twins Amy and Katie Elliott, who were born 87 days apart.
Yes, 87 days after Amy was born, Katie arrived into the world -- that's almost three months later. They have set a world record for the "longest interval between the birth of twins" (the previous record was 84 days), and their story is nothing short of miraculous.
According to the Mirror, mom Maria Jones-Elliott's pregnancy was going smoothly until about halfway through her 23rd week. That's when her water broke, and she went into labor. She told the paper, "The doctors told me there was very little hope of them surviving as they were so premature."
After two days of labor at a hospital in Ireland, their daughter Amy was born, weighing just 1 pound, 3 ounces. She was rushed to intensive care, as Amy prepared to give birth to her second daughter. Then, somehow, her contractions just stopped.
The doctors said they had never seen anything like it. It should have been a joyful time but it was horrific. I had one baby in intensive care and one inside me, clinging to life. They tried to induce me the next day but nothing happened. Eventually Chris and I said enough is enough. Let nature take its course.
Nature's course took longer than anyone could have anticipated. While Amy fought for her life, Maria prayed and was determined to bring both of her daughters home. The first time she was able to hold Amy was five weeks after she was born, she said immediately Katie started reacting in her womb, "as if she knew."
Every day she says she waited for labor to come on again, but for 86 days she didn't, and Katie kept on growing and thriving in utero while her sister did the same in the hospital. Finally on August 27, when Maria was just over 36 weeks along, doctors induced, and Katie was born weighing 5 pounds, 10 ounces. Two hours later the twins were reunited. Maria told the paper:
The nurse took Katie and put her in the incubator, facing her sister as they slept, and Amy immediately smiled. There was no doubt that they recognized each other.
This story gives me chills. Having had a premature baby weighing just 1 pound 15 ounces, and having spent three months in the hospital with him after his birth, I simply can't imagine doing it all while I was pregnant and worried about another baby. Maria and her husband call their births miraculous, and I don't disagree nor do I discount the incredible determination and positive attitude this family seemingly showed. It's an amazing, amazing story, and it's incredible that both girls are healthy today.
My favorite part of the story is that they will both get celebrate their birthdays on different days -- in different months even. Amy's is June 1, and Katie's is August 27. I'm sure they'll celebrate every day in between as well.
Can you imagine waiting this long between the births of twins?
Image via surlygirl/Flickr