Twin boys born at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA won’t be sharing the same birthday, as they were born an incredible 24 days apart.
Lindalva Pinheiro da Silva had her water break after only 24 weeks of carrying twin boys. Panicked, the 35-year old woman rushed to Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Around 50 percent of babies born at 24 weeks don’t survive, and those that do often have health problems.
Doctors at the hospital tried everything they could do to delay da Silva’s labor, but after only four days Alexandre was born. He weighed only 1 pound, 10 ounces.
“They brought him to me to give him a kiss,” said da Silva, recalling the stressful day. “He was crying, but he was very tiny and I was very scared. I said to my husband, ‘He’s too tiny.’”
However, after the first twin was born, da Silva’s cervix closed back up, delaying the birth of the second twin. Although it sounds alarming, it was actually a good thing, as the baby had more time to grow inside the womb.
“They said, ‘Maybe you’ll deliver in hour or a day or one week,” da Silva explained. “They said, ‘The longer he stays inside, the more he will grow.’”
As Alexandre grew and became healthier in an incubator down the hall, the second twin grew in his mother’s womb. Da Silva had to take antibiotics in order to prevent infection, as the placenta of the first twin was still inside of her body. Fortunately, da Silva remained happy and healthy, and was able to visit Alexandre in the NICU.
Three weeks later, da Silva began having contractions again. And after a little while, the second twin, named Ronaldo, was born, weighing in at a heavier 3 pounds, 3 ounces. He was both bigger and stronger because of the extra 24 days he got to stay in the womb.
“I’ve got everything ready,” said da Silva. “I can’t wait. I go to sleep thinking about them.”
Three months later, both babies are healthy and weigh 6 pounds each. Soon, da Silva hopes, they will be able to leave the hospital and join her and her husband in their home.