Healthy babies the best Christmas gift

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 15:03 25/12/2012

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Christmas for the parents of two wee premature twin babies meant seeing them cuddle for the first time.

Today was the first time either Sam Taylor or Sarah Jennings shared a ‘‘double cuddle’’ with their children Madelynn and Harrison, who were born 13 weeks’ early at 1kg each.

Navigating around hospital monitors and feeding tubes, the babies - who still weigh less than three 500g blocks of butter - enjoyed a hug with Mr Taylor.

Nurses, family and The Dominion Post watched as their heart rates dropped and they snuggled together peacefully at Wellington Hospital's neo-natal intensive care ward.

Due February 24, but born on November 30, the twins were themselves a ‘‘very early Christmas present’’, Ms Jennings said.

Mr Taylor had been in Melbourne for a work trip when Ms Jennings started having regular contractions at 11pm.

The Wellington primary school teacher had a sore back and hips at school that day, but never expected it was contractions so early on in her pregnancy.

‘‘I was teaching the day that I was in labour and didn’t realise.’’

The twins were born by emergency caesarean by about 3am.

Mr Taylor - who spent a nervous night pacing alone in his hotel room - caught the first possible plane back to New Zealand, finally meeting his new twins at about 4pm.

Ms Jennings said the babies were ‘‘up and down, but growing’’, despite them finding breathing and feeding at the same time a ‘‘bit of trouble’’.

And their personalities were even starting to show.

He was laid back, and she was stubborn and ‘‘high maintenance’’. Once when Madelynn was being resuscitated, Ms Jennings looked over to see Harrison lying peacefully with his hands tucked into his nappy.

Mr Taylor had mixed feelings about Christmas 2012.

‘‘It is a little bit sad. We always wanted them to have a different first Christmas to this, with family.’’

Families were this morning treated to a Christmas-decorated neo-natal ward, complete with a Christmas tree of booties, this morning. Babies were dressed in festive outfits, with stockings filled with presents, and nurses were dressed up.

‘‘It was cute. They’re all dressed up and have stockings, it was nice,’’ Ms Jennings said.

‘‘This is the first time they have actually worn clothes so it’s quite cute seeing them all dressed up.’’

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- The Dominion Post

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