OUR MIRACLE BABY IS NOW REUNITED WITH HIS TWIN SISTER
Delight for family after their children are together at last after spending months apart
HIS mum says he’s her little miracle boy...and now baby Ollie Hall and his twin sister Orla have been reunited for a first Christmas she feared they would not see.
Snuggling up beside their big brother Alfie, six, the eightmonth-old babies look the picture of health.
But they have had an incredibly difficult start in life after being born at just 26 weeks – and spending months separated in two different hospitals.
Mum Arlene said: “I went into spontaneous labour in April at work but I never even knew it was possible to have babies so early.
“I had a couple of miscarriages before I had my son so I just assumed something was going to go wrong.
“When they told me I was five centimetres dilated I thought that’s it, that’s it for this pregnancy. My babies are gone.”
As Ollie was breach, the twins were born by Caesarian section at University Hospital Wishaw and Arlene describes being “terrified” they would not survive.
Ollie, at just 1lb 9oz, was the smallest baby to be born at Wishaw that month.
Arlene, 33, said: “I was surprised how formed they were. They had the wee lines in their knuckles and the backs of their hands.
“But I was absolutely petrified. “My husband Jason used to wheel me down and sit me between the two incubators and I would sit and close my eyes, I couldn’t look.
“I don’t know if I was scared to have a connection, scared to look at what was about to get taken away from me.”
Five days after the twins were born Arlene was discharged home while the babies stayed in hospital.
But in the middle of the night Arlene and Jason were woken by the news Ollie had taken a turn for the worse.
They were told to get back to the neonatal unit as quickly as they could.
Arlene said: “I was just, just digesting what had happened and then boom, it all went crazy at 2am.
“Suddenly my worry was in Glasgow, and my worry was also in Wishaw.”
Gas had been escaping from Ollie’s tummy and bowel but doctors could not find an explanation.
After two weeks on antibiotics he had to be taken to theatre for investigative surgery.
Ollie spent seven weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Royal Hospital for Children while Orla was at Wishaw General Hospital.
Reflecting on how the family coped, Arlene said: “You don’t have a choice, you have to.
“The worst thing was driving away and leaving your baby in hospital. Driving away down the motorway thinking, ‘I’m leaving my baby.’
“We did that for 16 weeks in total because Ollie came home but was then readmitted to Glasgow in August.”
Ollie was finally reunited with Orla in May, and the twins came home together in July.
But the reunion did not last as Ollie was admitted back to the Royal Hospital for Children in August as a routine overnight test turned into another nine week hospital stay.
The baby had been booked in for a routine loopogram – a diagnostic test to check the function and size of his bowel – but further complications were discovered.
Arlene added: “He had been through so much already and he and Orla had spent more time apart than together in their short lives already.”
While in for the loopogram, the team discovered that two bilateral hernias Ollie had already were strangulating his testicle, which meant emergency surgery.
During his operation his stoma was reversed.
But the stoma reversal did not work because of his existing scar tissue collapsing on itself – so he had another stoma created.
Arlene said: “No matter what Ollie experienced, he just fought the whole time.
“He really is a little miracle boy who, along with his beautiful brother and sister, helped Jason