34-year-old Amanda Thomas gave birth to Harper and Gunner ten weeks earlier than expected, and was unable to hold the twins until they were one month old due to their small size.
However, when the family was finally reunited, the little ones immediately held hands.
Amanda, who lives in New Jersey and is a special education teacher, said, “They are both true fighters. Seeing them both there with all the tubes and wires was just too much. I realized I had twins the moment they held hands. It was the first time I got to hold them both in my arms. When they held hands, I understood that there was a special bond between them, which even a month’s absence could not forget. I knew they would help each other through this,” said the mother.
“Harper is going through a particularly difficult time and I am so thankful that he is home now, safe. Now their little personalities are starting to show more and more. Harper is so sassy and Gunner is more relaxed – they’re perfect,” Amanda added.
Amanda and her husband, 36-year-old Shawn, had wanted children for some time, but they had problems, so they ended up trying ᴀʀᴛɪꜰɪᴄɪᴀʟ ɪɴsᴇᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ. When they found out they were expecting twins after the first attempt, for which they paid £9,000, they were incredibly happy.
“It was everything we ever wanted,” Amanda said. The pregnancy went well for a while, but at 27 weeks Amanda started to feel sick. The doctors told him that he had high ʙʟᴏᴏᴅ ᴘʀᴇssᴜʀᴇ and that they would have to keep him under observation.
“I felt horrible and I just wanted my babies to be okay,” said the mother. Amanda’s amniotic fluid leaked in the 30th week of pregnancy, so the babies had to be delivered by ᴇᴍᴇʀɢᴇɴᴄʏ ᴄᴀᴇsᴀʀᴇᴀɴ sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ on December 18, 2019.
Harper was only 1.1 kilos and Gunner was barely bigger than him. “I saw them for a moment as they were held close to me, but I hardly remember, everything was so blurry,” Amanda said. The twins were taken straight to the N.I.C.U.
“When I first saw them, they were tied to all kinds of wires and machines. It was terrifying and I just wanted them to survive.”
The twins were able to meet again on January 12, when they held hands while their mother took them in her arms.
Gunner was able to go home on February 19, 2020, one day before the date they were originally supposed to be born. Harper had a hole in his heart, requiring sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ, and was able to leave the hospital on March 30, after 103 days.
“It was a huge relief and it felt good to finally be a family of four,” Amanda said. The twins are doing great now. “They develop a bit later, they need speech and physiotherapy, but they are quite incredible. They are our little miracles,” added the mother.