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Premature babies’ journey

Mother-of-three Jess Carpenter will spend this Mother's Day running around after her three daughters—including eight month old twins Bailey and Bella; but she wouldn’t change a thing.

Jess and her husband Steven’s twin daughters were born more than 15 weeks premature after Jess went in to early labour.

"We found out at our 12 week scan that we were having twins and then at 20 weeks that the twins would be girls, this was all a very big surprise as we didn't know of any multiples in the family," Jess said.

At 24 weeks and four days gestation, Jess went in to premature labour and the terrified mum was rushed by ambulance from Toowoomba to Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane.

"It was lights and sirens the whole way; it was pretty scary because I knew Steven was trying to follow us in the car and we were going so fast,” Jess said.

"I had no idea what was going to happen; I’d been told that if I had the babies in Toowoomba, they would die and because my labour with our daughter Brooke was so fast, part of me thought we wouldn't make it."

As the ambulance sped towards Brisbane, a team of doctors and nurses monitored Jess' condition, fearful that they would have to deliver the twins in transit.

Once at Mater, Jess was placed in the care of obstetrician Dr Rod Allen who took steps to boost the twins' development and slow down labour.

“Rod was amazing; he spent the night at the hospital to keep an eye on me,” Jess said.

After making it through the night, everyone was hopeful Jess would last another couple of days, but it wasn’t to be.

An emergency caesarean was needed and Steven made it back to Mater just in time to welcome his daughters to the world.

On 30 April 2014 Jess and Steven welcomed their tiny girls into the world; Bailey was born first, weighing just 670 grams, with Bella arriving four minutes later, weighing 710 grams.

The girls faced an uphill battle from birth and spent a long time in the care of the staff at Mater’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU). Bailey spent 99 days in hospital while Bella wasn’t able to go home for 127 days.

“I don’t even know what words to use to describe the staff in the Mater birth suites and NCCU; they were amazing, fantastic,” Jess said.

Funds raised through the Mater Prize Home lottery help to give Mater little miracles like Bailey and Bella the best possible start to life. You can show your support by purchasing your tickets  today.

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