The family of Queensland twins born four months early are set to enjoy a special Christmas at home for the first time with their little miracles.
After receiving around-the-clock care for more than 100 days at Mater Mothers’ Hospital Brisbane, Aashay and Aaliya will enjoy the festive season with big sister Siara, 3.5 years old.
Brisbane general practitioner Neha Goel, 36, and husband Ben Aggarwal, 36, said it “meant the world” to be home and finally together as a family.
“It will be the best Christmas ever,” Dr Goel said.
Dr Goel, from Bridgeman Downs, said her pint-sized miracles were born on September 11, with Aaliya arriving first weighing 785g, followed by Aashay weighing a tiny 680g.
Cuddling her babies together, Dr Goel said there were times she thought Aaliya and Aashay would not survive.
“Every time they got sick it was touch and go. It happened so many times it was scary,” Dr Goel said.
“The twins were due on December 29 but were born 16 weeks early. They had sepsis, and Aashay also had meningitis. He became very sick.”
“At times I wished I didn’t have a medical background; it would have made things a lot easier for me to process. I was overwhelmed with having my babies in hospital.”
Dr Goel said she had a new-found respect for parents of babies in the Mater Mothers’ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
“It’s really opened my eyes about what goes on here. You just don’t know until you go through it yourself. We were in good hands from the moment we came to Mater, my husband was the level-headed one and kept reminding me of that,” Dr Goel said.
Mater Acting Director of Neonatology Dr Luke Jardine said eight sets of twins would join the other tiny treasures this Christmas in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“For many families, this will be their first Christmas in hospital with their baby due to being premature or unwell,” Dr Jardine said.
“It can be an emotional and challenging time, along with a sense of hope their baby is being cared for in hospital.”
With one in five Queensland babies born at a Mater Mothers’ Hospital, Dr Goel had a planned caesarean section scheduled on 8 December, however Aaliya and Aashay had other plans.
“I ended up in hospital early with Aaliya’s amniotic sac passing through the cervix.
“I gave birth to the twins naturally and had a quick cuddle before they were taken away to the NICU,” she said.
Dr Goel said her twins, now three months, were tipping the scales at more than 3kg each, growing from strength to strength while in hospital.
“They are getting so strong, it’s so beautiful to see them together and thriving,” she said.
“We almost lost Aashay but he’s doing much better now and will require oxygen at home. Aaliya doesn’t require oxygen support. It’s been a long road but it’s just so nice to have them here and together again.
“Siara kept asking ‘Mummy, when are my babies coming home’, and I’ve always had to tell her they might be home after Christmas, so I didn’t get her hopes up.
“She’ll be so happy to see her Christmas wish come true”.