Family celebrates as 'miracle' twins born 13 weeks early prepare for tenth birthday

Holly and Aaron Eynon were born on March 30, 2011, weighing just 2lbs and 2lbs 4oz respectively.

A family from Bridgend is celebrating in the lead up to two very special birthdays - as twins who were born 13 weeks early prepare to turn 10 years old.

Holly and Aaron Eynon were born weighing just 2lbs and 2lbs 4oz respectively, after their parents suffered the heartache of two miscarriages and four failed rounds of IVF.

Julia and Stuart Eynon feared they may never be able to have children, but were told they were going to be having twins following their fifth and final attempt at fertility treatment.

But the babies arrived dangerously early at 27 weeks, and were given a very slim chance of survival.

"It does still bring tears to my eyes when I talk about it," admitted Julia.

"Every day, even now, I think about how lucky I am and how lucky they are. It could have been such a different situation."

The twins had to be separated when Holly needed life-saving surgery.

Julia was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries and given medication following months without success falling pregnant. They then tried IVF but lost two babies within weeks of her becoming pregnant.

Following blood tests it was discovered that Stuart had an abnormal chromosome make-up which was hampering them from conceiving properly.

Having received a grant, they travelled to London for £10,000 treatment, but were still unable to conceive.

Julia described the moment they finally received some good news: "It was amazing. After all the other cycles where it hadn't worked we couldn't believe it."

But 27 weeks into her pregnancy, Julia started experiencing back pain which got progressively worse.

She later discovered she was in labour after being admitted to hospital, and had to have an emergency C-section.

She said: "I'd never had surgery before and all of a sudden I was rushed off to theatre and everything was going on around me. It became a bit of a blur.

"There were double the staff there because it was two babies and double again because it was during handover time between evening staff and night shift staff."

Julia had to leave Aaron in one hospital to visit Holly in another.

The twins were born on March 30, 2011.

While Holly came out first and made a "little squeak", which Julia took as a positive sign, Aaron was not breathing and required urgent CPR.

They were then placed in incubators and taken to the special care baby unit before Julia or Stuart could even hold them.

"They wheeled them past so I could literally have a glance of them as they were taken away. But they were so small and the incubators were so high that I couldn't see them. I was really upset by that."

However, nurses took pictures of the tiny, premature twins and sent them to Julia.

Both babies spent several weeks in hospital after being born.

"Their skin was see-through, Aaron's eyes were sealed closed and didn't open for another four days, and their fingers were webbed as they hadn't fully developed," Julia added.

"It just shows at that stage how much more developing they needed to do."

The following morning, Julia was able to spend an hour with both her newborns.

But it soon transpired that Holly was deeply ill with a perforated bowel and would need to be taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff for life-saving surgery.

"I was told she probably wasn't going to survive. She had a one in three chance," said Julia.

"I took a glance at her and I thought this might be the last time I ever see her."

The family were finally able to leave hospital just days before the twins were originally due.

Holly's condition improved following surgery, but Aaron remained on a ventilator for several weeks after his birth.

Julia was finally discharged from hospital after more than a week, which allowed her to visit Holly and hold her for the first time.

"She looked so different to Aaron. She had dark, dark hair but Aaron's was so blonde and fine that you could hardly see it.

"She had these big eyes. You could see she was feisty even then as her legs were kicking. But I was so torn at that point because I was leaving Aaron on his own in the other hospital. I had to see Holly for just an hour and know she was okay."

During the three weeks they were apart, doctors discovered both twins had a hole in the heart and found a bleed on Aaron's brain.

But they overcame everything and, after spending a further nine weeks in the Princess of Wales Hospital, were allowed to go home on June 23 – six days before they were originally due to be born.

Aaron and Holly will turn 10 years old on March 30.

Holly went on to develop retinopathy in her eyes and Aaron needed surgery for vesicoureteral reflux - a condition caused when the flow of urine goes the wrong way and goes to the kidneys.

But in recent years the pair, who are pupils at Coety Primary School, have flourished.

Julia said: "Holly is very active. She likes to be out on the trampoline, climbing, on her bike. Aaron likes all of that too but I think if he had the choice he'd be on his PlayStation.

"The pair of them are very sociable. Covid has been hard on them as they've not seen their friends and aren't able to be as active but they've been taking part in virtual kickboxing lessons which is great."

Holly and Aaron turn 10 on Tuesday, March 30, and are planning to have a party at home due to Covid restrictions.