A mother has praised hospital staff for their ‘fantastic’ care after her twins were born eight-and-a-half weeks early.
Jo Goddard, 32, was surprised enough when her and her husband Gareth were told they were having twins, let alone when they were born premature.
The couple, who live in Tarring Road in Worthing, were told to expect them to be born a few weeks early, but Jo went into labour five weeks before that.
She said: “I was a bit shellshocked, I had gone from being pregnant to having the babies really really early.”
Dylan and Evan Goddard were born at Worthing Hospital early on April 27 – both weighing less than 4lbs – and were whisked away to the premature baby unit.
Jo said: “You go through this emotional rollercoaster.
In the back of my mind was this thought that I might not be taking one or both of them home.Jo Goddard
“I was on the maternity ward without my babies.
“We were able to hold Dylan that day but we couldn’t hold Evan for a couple of days.”
Premature babies require constant supervision, and the experience can be very scary for new parents.
But staff at the premature baby unit were ‘fantastic’, according to Jo.
Jo, who works for St Barnabas House, said: “They look after the parents and keep you in the loop.
“They told us ‘you can phone anytime for an update’.
“When you are going through it you really appreciate how hard they work”
Jo said staff were incredibly reassuring and helped get them through scary moments, including when there was a chance the twins had developed Necrotising Enterocolitis, a serious illness where gut tissue starts to die.
At that moment Jo was determined to hold it together for her twins: “In the back of my mind was this thought that I might not be taking one or both of them home.
“I was scared but I was trying to think positively.
“We just both had to be strong for them.”
But thanks to hard work from the doctors and nurses and the strength of the twins, Dylan and Evan pulled through.
Jo and Gareth got to take the latest additions to their family home just under five weeks after they were born.
“They were just very strong from the outset.
“They are doing really, really well.
“Apart from their size they are just like any other newborn baby.”
Reflecting on the whole experience, Jo wondered how much it costs hospitals to care for premature babies: “The whole time I just kept thinking how much this is costing the NHS and how lucky we are that this was all completely free.
“I dread to think what it must come to.”