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For the parents of these "extremely premature" twins born at a city hospital on March 31, their journey from birth to home has been nothing short of a miracle.

The twins delivered through a C-section were born at 25 weeks, four months before the expected delivery date, and weighed only 600g and 620g at birth. They were severely underdeveloped with their eyes fused. Their skin was so fragile that it would tear on being touched.

However, advanced technology, trained and caring medical staff ensured that the twins survived the 90-day ordeal and returned home healthy.

"It was a huge challenge for the medical team. The babies weighed 1,810g and 1,786g at the time of discharge. This is the first case of extremely premature twins surviving and going home in Maharashtra," said neonatologist Sachin Shah of Surya Mother and Child Care Hospital, Wakad, Pune.

The relieved parents recall the ordeal they had to go through even before the twins were conceived. After two failed pregnancies over the last seven years, the woman conceived the twins through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF). She was enrolled for antenatal care and was aware about twin fetuses. She was also aware about the possibility of delivering them prematurely.

However, after five-and-a-half months of pregnancy, she developed pregnancy-induced hypertension, medically termed as pre-eclampsia. The hypertension caused decreased flow of blood to the fetus. This complication forced doctors to deliver the babies prematurely at 25 weeks. "Handling 25 weeks' singleton is simple, but twinning complicates the care and survival," Shah said.

Immediately after birth, the twins were put on life support. Special catheters were attached through the umbilicus for 24x7 monitoring of blood pressure and administration of nutrition.


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