South Wales Evening Post - - FRONT PAGE - MARK SMITH [email protected]­line.co.uk

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.

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