Mum tells of the dramatic birth of premature twins
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