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Maria Jones-Elliot holds her little girls like the miracles they truly are. These twins have not just been born in this world as a gift to their family but to the medical world too. After Maria gave birth to Amy, her sister Katie wasn’t born until 87 days later.
The twins survived a grueling childbirth and were hailed the official holder of the Guinness World Record for the “longest interval between the birth of twins,” ousting the previous record of 84 days. The delivery was not easy as the twins and their mother were placed at risk.
“I call the girls our little miracles,” mom, Maria, said. “As I held Amy for the first time, I stroked my bump and prayed to God. I just wanted my girls to be together and safe and well. Usually you experience nothing but joy at the birth of a new baby, but it was so achingly bitter-sweet as both of their lives hung in the balance.”
“Amy was fighting for life in an incubator and Katie was struggling to survive in my womb. It was the hardest three months of our lives. But Chris kept saying, ‘Where there’s life, there’s hope.’”
The couple was delighted when they first found out that they were expecting twins.
“I always felt I was going to have twins. Even when I found out I was pregnant, Chris said, ‘That’ll be twins then,’ as they run in the family. During the scan, I was looking at the screen, and because I’d had two other pregnancies, I expected to see a round circle with a tiny blob; but this time, there was a line going through it. I said, ‘What’s the line?’ and the nurse said, ‘Oh, congratulations. It looks like twins.’” Maria narrated.
The family, who are composed of Maria, her husband, Chris, who works as a psychiatric nurse, and children Olivia and Jack, were about to welcome the birth of their newest additions when Maria went into early labor. She was only 23 weeks into her pregnancy.
The doctors advised Maria that there was unlikely chance that either of the twins would survive because they were born premature. All she could do at that point was pray, and her prayers seemed to have been heard as the first baby was born. But little Amy was still in critical condition, born weighing only 1lb 3oz, and four months before her due date. As she was rushed to intensive care, Maria had little time to think about her newborn as there was still Katie to be pushed out to this world.
When Maria prepared to go into labor, something was off. She didn’t feel any contractions even after doctors induced her the following day. Yet Maria never lost hope.
“I touched my bump and made the vow I would get Katie out safe and well, and the girls would be together,” she recalled.