‘OUR HEARTS ARE BREAK­ING BUT ALSO BURST­ING WITH LOVE FOR OUR SPE­CIAL TWINS’

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - OWEN EVANS news­[email protected]­line.co.uk

AMUM who lost her twin ba­bies within a week of them be­ing born has said she wants to cel­e­brate their short lives rather than fo­cus on the loss.

Han­nah Bev­er­ley, 30, has bravely spo­ken about the or­deal just days af­ter los­ing her “beau­ti­ful ba­bies”.

Han­nah and her hus­band Thomas, also 30, were left heart­bro­ken when Max Arthur and Nel Martha, who were 16 weeks pre­ma­ture, lost their short bat­tles for life.

Speak­ing to the Daily Post, Han­nah said she first fell preg­nant in 2017 but found out in Septem­ber last year no heart­beat could be found. She said the “phys­i­cal, emo­tional and psy­cho­log­i­cal trauma” will haunt them for­ever.

The cou­ple, who live in Col­wyn Bay, dis­cov­ered Han­nah was ex­pect­ing in June of this year, adding: “We were over the moon.”

Af­ter early is­sues, Han­nah’s preg­nancy pro­gressed smoothly and the cou­ple were de­lighted to learn they were ex­pect­ing twins.

She said: “Ev­ery­thing came back nor­mal and we pro­gressed through the sum­mer hap­pily and ex­cit­edly shar­ing our news.

“Af­ter what we had been through the year be­fore, our fam­i­lies and friends couldn’t be hap­pier to share in our de­light.

“The bomb­shell that we were ex­pect­ing twins was met with de­lighted squeals and ex­cited gig­gles from ev­ery­one we told.”

But af­ter 22 weeks things started to go wrong when Han­nah woke to find she had lost her mu­cus plug and was found to be fully di­lated when she ar­rived in hos­pi­tal.

Doc­tors at Glan Cl­wyd Hos­pi­tal were able to per­form a “cer­vi­cal cer­clage”, a pro­ce­dure which aims to pre­vent labour.

Han­nah, who works as head of English at Ys­gol y Creud­dyn in Pen­rhyn Bay, said: “Luck­ily, the de­ter­mined doc­tor and his amaz­ing team were able to put the stitch in place and I was wheeled into re­cov­ery.

“I was placed on strict bedrest and with ev­ery day that passed, we breathed a huge sigh of re­lief that we had made it an­other day and the twins had an­other day to grow and get stronger.”

She stayed at Glan Cl­wyd un­til she was 23 weeks preg­nant be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to Ar­rowe Park Hos­pi­tal on the Wir­ral. Af­ter 24 weeks and four days of preg­nancy, Han­nah went into labour and daugh­ter Nel Martha was born weigh­ing 1lb 5oz and son Max Arthur was born in breech seven min­utes later weigh­ing 1lb 6oz.

Han­nah said: “We were able to visit them a cou­ple of hours later and see­ing them in their tiny in­cu­ba­tors, sur­rounded by beep­ing ma­chines and alarms was over­whelm­ing and fright­en­ing. Our ba­bies were ab­so­lutely per­fect, just so, so tiny.

“We went to bed the proud­est par­ents of two beau­ti­ful ba­bies.”

But the cou­ple were wo­ken up in the night to be given the dev­as­tat­ing news that Max was se­ri­ously ill.

They were called to the in­ten­sive care unit where they found doc­tors per­form­ing CPR on Max as they des­per­ately tried to save his life.

Doc­tors man­aged to restart his heart, giv­ing grand­par­ents Gor­don, Julie, James and Sandy the chance to meet their grand­child. But Max could not be saved and died on Oc­to­ber 24.

Han­nah said: “It was clear that Max was slip­ping away and we made the de­ci­sion to al­low him to die in his mummy’s arms.

“We were able to tell him how much he was wanted and loved and how proud we are of him and he died peace­fully with his fam­ily around him. Those days af­ter los­ing Max were heart­break­ing, but the staff at the unit were so kind and car­ing.

“They al­lowed us to have pre­cious mummy and daddy mo­ments with Max which meant the world to us. Hav­ing our dar­ling Nel still bat­tling in in­ten­sive care gave us im­mense strength. We were so grate­ful to her as she was sta­ble and there­fore we were able to de­vote time to Max when he needed us most.”

Af­ter los­ing their son, the cou­ple watched on as their daugh­ter Nel bat­tled with “strength and re­silience” to stay alive. But she also started to de­te­ri­o­rate af­ter show­ing signs of in­fec­tion.

Han­nah said: “Ex­actly a week af­ter Max’s death, we made the de­ci­sion to take her out of her in­cu­ba­tor to die in her mummy’s arms.

“Again, we cud­dled her, held her hands and told her how much she was wanted and loved while she slipped away peace­fully.” She died on Oc­to­ber 31. De­spite their dev­as­ta­tion, Han­nah said she and Thomas want to fo­cus on the pos­i­tives.

She said: “We are blessed that we got to spend 22 pre­cious hours with our beau­ti­ful boy and seven days, 12 hours with our gor­geous girl.

“Dr Ban­field at Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd bought me that time with my per­fect ba­bies and I’ll al­ways be grate­ful.

“It’s been a dev­as­tat­ing few weeks and al­though our hearts are break­ing for our beau­ti­ful ba­bies, they are also burst­ing with pride and love for our spe­cial twins.

“Even though he was only with us for a few hours, Max has shown us what true brav­ery and courage looks like. Max means ‘great­est’ and Arthur means ‘coura­geous’ and our per­fect son lived up to his name un­til the very end.

“Nel’s in­cred­i­ble strength and re­silience got us through the hard­est week of our lives. Nel means ‘bright light’ and she truly was our shin­ing bea­con of hope; our light at the end of the tun­nel.”

Han­nah added they were “so grate­ful” for the help from staff at Ys­byty Glan Cl­wyd and Ar­rowe Park Hos­pi­tal, as well as Ron­ald McDon­ald House. She said the cou­ple wanted to thank fam­ily and friends for their “love and sup­port”.

Max and Nel’s fu­ner­als will take place on Wed­nes­day at Col­wyn Bay Cre­ma­to­rium. Peo­ple are asked to wear colour­ful cloth­ing and do­na­tions can be made in mem­ory of Max and Nel in aid of Ron­ald McDon­ald House and Ar­rowe Park Hos­pi­tal Spe­cial Care Baby Unit.

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