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Peter and Amber's twin daughters have come a long, long way since being born at 32 weeks after a complicated pregnancy, and their parents couldn't be more proud of their progress.
You see, Leia and Lauren are Monoamniotic-Monochorionic ("MoMo") twins, which means they are identical twins that shared the same amniotic sac within their mother's uterus but had two separate umbilical cords.
"It was a high-risk pregnancy as the babies were sharing one sac, meaning the risk of cord entanglement grows as the pregnancy progresses," the new parents, who are from Singapore, shared with our site via email. "Being a rare pregnancy, it was a stressful journey, a rollercoaster ride as I called it, without anyone to learn from or to share our experiences with!"
"Being told that the girls share the same sac and there is nothing we could do to prevent cord-entanglement, at any stage of pregnancy, was the worst possible news," the family went on to share. "We scoured though the web to find out more but information on momo twins were rare and hardly positive. Then came the worry about premature births and its complications. There were just too many unknown factors that, in the end, we knew we just had to stay positive and have faith that good will happen."
This past July, Leia and Lauren were born via c-section at 32 weeks, a decision which Peter and Amber say was "advised by the doctor as the risk to keep them in any longer just wasn’t worth it."
"Weighing 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) at birth each, they spent 2 weeks in ICU and another 2 weeks in Special Care Nursery (SCN). Their weight dropped to 1.3 kgs (2.8 pounds) in the first week and slowly but surely, they started to grow steadily. We made daily visits to provide ‘Kangaroo’ care as we learnt that the benefits to our babies were numerous. Thanks to the experienced nurses and speech therapists, they were closely monitored for their sucking, swallowing and breathing coordination.They were discharged from the hospital at 2 kgs (4.4 pounds) after checks on their overall development."
Naturally, Peter and Amber took photos and videos to document the girls' progress. Along the way, they decided to create a video to celebrate just how far their twins have come in their first 100 days. Take a look:
Leia & Lauren - The First 100 Days from peterambertravel on Vimeo.
The tiny babies Peter and Amber worried over in the hospital have grown – a lot! The first-time parents told BabyCenter, "Since then, they have put on substantial pounds and are now two healthy and chubby babies weighing 9kg (19.8 pounds) each at 5 months!"
"We feel incredibly blessed to have the medical team at KKH hospital, friends and family who have supported unconditionally in this journey," the pair went on to share. "We hope this video gives faith and inspiration to parents with premature babies, that the dark days do pass quickly, and happy days shall prevail. God works wonders! We are more than willing to share our experience as momo twin parents with others who are in the same situation and facing many unanswered questions."
Many thanks to Peter and Amber for sharing their family's story with us. You're welcome to connect with them (and see more squishy baby photos of Leia and Lauren) on Instagram.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.