Mother’s Day miracle for twin sisters and first-time mums
It may not have been how or where they anticipated spending their first ever Mother’s Day but identical twin sisters, and new mums, Jessica Vines and Laura Antrobus, were just glad to have and hold their miracle babies – both born prematurely at the Women’s with chronic lung disease.
Jessica’s daughter Millie was born in December 2017 at just 25 weeks’ gestation while Laura’s son arrived last month at 26 week’s gestation. Both babies have required intervention from the Women’s team of experts in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as they are unable to breathe on their own; Millie is on high-flow oxygen while Harvey is on mechanical ventilation.
The twin sisters are not unfamiliar with the health struggles faced by premature babies; they themselves arrived before time at the Women’s over three decades ago and both required kidney transplants as teenagers after inheriting a cystic renal disease.
It took nephrology specialists three years to get the twins weaned on to new medications that could be tolerated during pregnancy, before they coincidently fell pregnant three months apart.
Laura and Jessica spoke to Herald Sun journalist Brigid O’Connell and Nine News reporter, Jo Hall, for the Women’s annual Miracle Mums Appeal, shining a light on the challenging journey some women face in motherhood.
“Millie being born at 25 weeks was quite scary and frightening for my husband and I … some people do this alone but being twins we can travel this journey together,” said Jessica.
“The hardest part of everything is it’s day by day in NICU,” Ms Antrobus said. “But Jess and I already talk about the things we’ll do together. As twins we’ve done a lot together our whole lives, so it’s nice our kids will grow up so close in age.”
Neonatologist at the Women’s, Dr Brett Manly said the hospital treats around 80-90 babies born before 29 weeks’ gestation every year, with respiratory problems being the most common.