9-YEAR WAIT IS WORTH IT!
TWINS JOY AFTER SEVEN ROUNDS OF IVF TREATMENT
AFTER nine years, seven rounds of IVF treatment and the heartache of three miscarriages, Emma and Lyn Rees thought their chances of having children were over.
But after an extremely distressing labour and delivery, their dream of becoming parents finally came true when they welcomed twins into the world.
Emma, who has had type 1 diabetes since the age of six, became critically ill when the babies were being delivered at Singleton Hospital via emergency c-section in May 2018.
After a few setbacks, seven months on the family have returned to the Swansea hospital to thank staff for the outstanding care they received. Emma said she was closely monitored throughout her pregnancy by her midwife, GP and by Singleton’s diabetes consultant Richard Chudleigh, consultant obstetrician Margery Morgan and their teams.
“I spent more time at Singleton than I did at home and they took no chances with me and my precious cargo,” she said.
“From 27 weeks I pretty much moved in. Mr Chudleigh barely left my side and even called to check on me at weekends.
“When I became too unwell to carry the twins further and ended up in the high dependency unit, it was he who saved my life. I shudder to think what could have happened without his incredible care and dedication.”
Emma, from Brynamman, said her sodium level dropped so low that the babies had to be delivered seven weeks early.
But within hours not only was her sodium dangerously low but her potassium level had become dangerously high.
“I ended up in the high dependency unit. I was there for three days, semiconscious.
“I remember it, but I was in and out. I couldn’t even string a sentence together.”
Meanwhile Ollie – who arrived on May 22 weighing 5lb 2oz – and Sophie, weighing 4lb 7oz, were taken to Singleton’s neonatal intensive care unit where they remained for 25 days.
Staff arranged for Emma to have an ipad so she could see the twins while she remained in the high dependency unit.
“That was really emotional, and extremely distressing – to see your children hooked up to machines,” she added.
“It was awful and I was very anxious because we’d been trying to conceive for nine years, and seven rounds of IVF and three miscarriages.
“But every single member of staff was just outstanding. They listened to me, they took everything I said on board. And the care they gave the babies – I felt as if they loved them like family. My husband was struggling too. His wife was in HDU, he didn’t know what was happening to me health-wise, and he had two tiny babies in incubators. They were all amazing with him as well.”
Ollie and Sophie have had a few chest infections requiring a stay in the paediatric ward in Morriston Hospital in Swansea, despite this they have come on really well and both now weigh a healthy 22lbs.
For six months after having the babies, Emma was really unwell with diabetes-related problems and has only now started to improve. But that hasn’t stopped her and Lyn taking the babies back to Singleton to present staff with fleece blankets and sheets for the neonatal unit bought out of donations during a blessing day for the twins last September.
Emma added: “It’s something really small by way of a massive thank you. The last year has been testing but also the most beautiful year of our lives. We are grateful for all the support we’ve had.
“I feel extremely blessed. They’re outstanding. We are so lucky to have them. But we’re also lucky to have the people in our NHS to support us. And I feel I can trust the NHS with our lives.
“You hear bad stories but it’s about time people who have good experiences tell their story too. So thank you to the NHS – we’re super-grateful.”
Lyn and Emma Rees return to thank hospital staff, including staff nurses Cheryl Tobin, Gaynor Jones and Rhian Bevan, paediatric consultant Dr Maha Mansour and child health doctor Malini Ketty.
Emma with twins Sophie and Ollie.