Mum tells of the dra­matic birth of pre­ma­ture twins

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - MARK SMITH mark.smith@waleson­

A MUM-OF-THREE has de­scribed the dra­matic mo­ment she al­most gave birth to her very pre­ma­ture twins in the back of an am­bu­lance.

Jenna Cot­ter­rall was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mild pains 31 weeks into her preg­nancy and de­cided to travel to Prince Charles Hos­pi­tal in Merthyr Tyd­fil to get her­self checked out.

When the mid­wives no­ticed she was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing con­trac­tions so early into her ges­ta­tion, they de­cided to take her via am­bu­lance to the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of Wales in Cardiff for spe­cial­ist care.

But as soon as the am­bu­lance doors shut the 30-year-old knew she needed to be­gin push­ing and was rushed back up to the ma­ter­nity ward so the twin boys could be de­liv­ered.

“It was crazy,” said Jenna.

“I was in the am­bu­lance with the mid­wife and my other half was in our car with my suit­case.

“We were just about to be blue-lighted down to the Heath, but I just knew I needed to start push­ing there and then.

“The mid­wife said I could hold on, but I couldn’t. I was scream­ing in agony.

“I was taken straight back up­stairs with my other half leg­ging it be­hind me.”

She said mid­wives and doc­tors at Prince Charles swarmed around her as soon as she reached the ward.

“There were alarms go­ing off and the room just filled up with peo­ple,” she added.

“My part­ner Lee was pushed to the back of the room.”

Lit­tle Caleb was born on Oc­to­ber 2 at 11.27pm weigh­ing 4lb 5oz, fol­lowed by brother Ciaran at 11.40pm weigh­ing a tiny 3lb 12oz.

“I all hap­pened so fast. It was all so un­ex­pected,” she added.

“Once ev­ery­one had left then room me and Lee looked at each other won­der­ing what the hell had just hap­pened.”

As both twins were born so pre­ma­turely, they needed to be in­cu­bated im­me­di­ately which pre­vented Jemma and Lee from bond­ing with them.

“It was hor­ri­ble. I wasn’t able to see them for three hours af­ter they were born,” she added.

“I didn’t know if they were alive as I didn’t even get the chance to hear them cry.

“I even­tu­ally show­ered, got my py­ja­mas on and went over to see them. They were so small and had so many wires around them that I could barely see their faces.”

Both Ciaran and Caleb needed to stay in­cu­ba­tors in the hos­pi­tal for 37 days.

It meant Jenna, who was dis­charged af­ter just a day in hos­pi­tal, and Lee had to bal­ance vis­it­ing their twins at the unit ev­ery day with look­ing af­ter their three-year-old son, Con­nor.

“At one stage they thought Ciaran would need to be trans­ferred to the Heath as his in­fec­tion mark­ers were ris­ing,” added the Hir­waun res­i­dent.

“But luck­ily they were both fine and we took them both home on the same day.”

A year on from the un­for­get­table birth on Oc­to­ber 2, 2012, Jenna has shared her story as part of World Pre­ma­tu­rity Day on Novem­ber 17, a global move­ment to raise aware­ness of pre­ma­ture birth and the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact it can have on fam­i­lies.

“We were in­cred­i­bly for­tu­nate that nei­ther of the twins had any longterm health prob­lems,” she added.

“They have been mar­vel­lous. Ciaran is a bit more laid back and reaches mile­stones in his own time, and we still have reg­u­lar ap­point­ments with our pae­di­a­tri­cians who are won­der­ful.”

Ciaran and Caleb O’Cal­laghan were born pre­ma­turely

Ciaran and Caleb with mum Jenna Cot­ter­rall

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