East Grinstead couple celebrate Mother's Day with 'miracle' twins
AN East Grinstead family have celebrated their first Mother's Day with their "miracle" babies.
Identical twins Hannah and Abigail were given a one-in-three chance of survival after being diagnosed with severe Twin-To-Twin Transfusion Syndrome 20 weeks into pregnancy.
But the fighting-fit pair defied the odds when mum Dee Longhurst gave birth following emergency laser ablation surgery seven months ago.
The 33-year-old, who lives with husband Warren, 36, in Verbania Way, wrote a book in memory of their first daughter Amy, who was stillborn 39 weeks into pregnancy in June 2010.
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But happily she later gave birth to daughter Sophie and less than a year later the twins were welcomed into the world.
Dee said: "The word 'miracle' might be overused, but I think we were so lucky that they fell into that category. Never in a million years did we expect to have three children so close to each other.
"It was a complete shock to lose Amy after a normal pregnancy. Sophie came quite quickly afterwards and we knew we wanted another child, but it was such a surprise to be told to expect twins.
"They did outline from the start that having twins would be a risk, partly because of my history and partly because they were sharing the placenta. We thought it was too good to be true. We were convinced we had lost them."
Dee added: "We arrived for surgery at the hospital and were told that if we waited a week, it would have been too late. That's when we knew how serious the whole situation was."
The babies were born early at 30 weeks on August 11 last year at Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton, where they spent five weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit before going home with their family.
Dee said: "At first, we struggled to tell Hannah and Abigail apart, but their big sister could tell straight away.
"They're starting to develop their own personalities."
The family spent Mother's Day at home, where Dee was treated to a home-cooked meal and a night off the washing up by hubby Warren.
She said she is in the process of adding a chapter about the twins to her book, Amy: Our Little Bit of Heaven, which can be purchased by e-mailing Dee at email@example.com