The parents of twins born just 24 days apart call the birth of their baby boys nothing short of a miracle. On June 10, Lindalva Pinheiro da Silva and her husband, Ronaldo Antunes, shared the story of the high-risk pregnancy and delivery of twin boys that -- so far -- is beating all odds, according to a report out today by ABC News.
At Boston's Tufts Medical Center, the set of twins born apart by 24 days were supposed to be born on June 18, based on a typical nine month gestation period. However, just six months into her pregnancy, da Silva's water broke and she and her husband raced off to the hospital.
According to the CDC’s website on reproductive health, "preterm birth is the birth of an infant prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy.” Additionally, this type of early pregnancy accounts for a significant amount of infant deaths yearly (37% in 2009). It is also the cause of an alarming number of neurological dysfunctions in children who survive beyond critical stages.
Knowing that 50 percent of premature babies born this soon die and those that survive have some sort of physical or mental impairment, doctors tried their best to delay the birth of the boys. Even faced with a litany of concerns about her own health, da Silva reasoned that she would do everything possible to save her children.
As Dr. Sabrina Craigo explained about the pregnancy:
This was unique, uhm, in many ways, uhm, including that both twins are doing very well."
I panicked. It wasn't time. It was too early. I knew I could lose the babies," said the new Boston mommy, who shared details of her potentially life-death situation.
Four days later, doctors performed the risky process of delivering the babies. Alexandre was the first to emerge and weighing in at only 1 pound, 10 ounces, he could fit in the palm of the woman's hand. And while hospital staff cleaned up her newborn, doctors told da Silva the next baby should emerge in hours, a day, or no more than a week. Instead, the woman's contractions simply stopped.
As doctors explained, the mom's womb is the best place for a child to develop, unless there is the threat of infection. And as long as the mother stays healthy -- mentally and physically -- the other baby should fare well.
They were right; three weeks later, the contractions returned and within a few hours, baby Ronaldo was born, healthy and slightly bigger than his twin brother. He tipped the scales at 3 pounds, 3 ounces, largely due to the extended time in the womb.
The twins born 24 days apart are thriving and should be discharged to their new home on June 18, their original projected birth dates. Imagine that?