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