Olivia and Zoe were born three months earlier than expected.
Two twin sisters who were born premature, at 28 weeks, thrilled the family on their first date outside the ᴡᴏᴍʙ. The girls, named Olivia and Zoe, hugged each other on the first contact they had, which took place 27 days after the birth, according to their mother.
“Olivia was placed on my chest first, followed by Zoe, who extended her left arm to hug her sister. They just lay there and snuggled together for a while. Everything was perfect, we finally felt like a family,” the mother said.
The girls are the daughters of Ann Le and Jason Poon, an Australian couple. Olivia and Zoe’s bonding relationship began inside their mother’s ᴡᴏᴍʙ, as they shared the same ᴀᴍɴɪᴏᴛɪᴄ sᴀᴄ and ᴘʟᴀᴄᴇɴᴛᴀ during pregnancy. This is what’s known as mono-chorionic mono-amniotic twinning, or “momo twins. Ann’s pregnancy was ʀɪsᴋʏ and an emergency delivery was required three months ahead of schedule. Since they were born, the babies have lived in ɪɴᴄᴜʙᴀᴛᴏʀs in a ɴᴇᴏɴᴀᴛᴀʟ I.C.U.
Seeing her girls back together has been a huge relief for Le, who gave birth in January after two weeks of being inpatient at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. The plan was for Le to stay in the hospital from 26 weeks until 32 weeks, following the standard of care for momo twin pregnancies, but the twins’ hearts just couldn’t wait that long.
“I so badly wanted the girls to get to the planned 32-week mark. We always knew they were going to premmie babies, but not this premmie (28 weeks + 5 days). We were excited to meet them but also devastated that they couldn’t stay in for longer. But, as the doctor said, we could stretch it out for a couple more days, but this might cause the babies more distress and lead to a worse outcome,” Le wrote on her blog.
And so the girls arrived early, and after nearly a month apart they are clearly happy to be back together.
“Life with babies in the N.I.C.U is pretty damn hard. It’s exhausting, stressful and always unpredictable. But when I look down and see these two, I forget about how difficult things are and realize [sic] just how lucky we are to have these two,” Le wrote on Instagram.
It’s pretty clear that the girls feel lucky to have each other, too. And although Le says N.I.C.U life is hard for her and her husband, Jason Poon, the couple is enjoying every minute with their reunited miracle twins.