“It was really draining on my mental health” - Feroza’s story

Feroza's twins on the unit

Feroza shares her experience of having twins born prematurely, at 25 weeks.

I gave birth to my twin girls on 25 June 2020. At my 12-week scan I found out that I was having twins, it was a big shock but a really nice one.

My pregnancy was quite difficult and made worse when lockdown happened - there were no antenatal classes or groups that I could go to. I was also sick a lot which meant I was in and out of hospital, but I was so terrified that I would catch Covid.

When I reached 23 weeks I was getting really tired and one day I noticed my waters had broken. The doctors told me to come to the hospital the next day but it wasn’t a good sign - the scan showed a leakage in my sack.

At 24 weeks it still wasn’t looking good – the doctors told me that there was a hole in my sack and that if it got any bigger they would have to operate. They gave me steroids to take but were conscious that they didn’t want me to get an infection and wanted to keep the babies as safe as possible. It was really overwhelming and scary.

At 25+1 weeks at 4 pm, my babies were delivered via emergency c-section. I was so worried - they couldn’t tell me if my babies were going to survive.

After they were born, I didn’t get to see them for about eight or nine hours. They were placed in a plastic sheet bag to help with temperature and then in an incubator to keep them warm and secure.

I also wasn’t allowed to hold them for the next few days which was so heart-breaking and upsetting. It wasn’t a normal experience; my husband could only stay until they were born and then had to leave.

I stayed in hospital for two or three days to recover as I was in a lot of pain. I finally saw my babies at 11 pm at night while I was sitting in a wheelchair.

My baby girls, Layla and Hanayah, stayed on the neonatal ward for six months – luckily our hospital was close to home but we could only stay two hours a day. I was constantly ringing the ward to see how they were doing; I was panicky and felt awful. It was really draining on my mental health.

The girls are doing really well now, they’re two years old now and such miracle babies. They have come such a long way from weighing just over one pound at birth, and they had to come home on oxygen, but they’re healthy now which is all that matters.

My mental health was better once the girls arrived home - I was still super anxious about some things but not as anxious as being in the hospital. I really enjoyed being with my twins when they were home and my family finally felt complete.

We’re so grateful for all the doctors and nurses on the neonatal ward for helping my babies.