Twins born 24 days apart finally get to go home...
A Somerville couple woke up today with their twin boys nestled in cribs at home for the first time since the babies’ March births — separated by a stunning 24 days — at Tufts Medical Center.
Lindalva Pinheiro da Silva and Ronaldo Antunes smiled as they left the hospital yesterday holding their twin boys, Alexandre and Ronaldo, in their car seats after a long and emotionally exhausting journey that few parents ever have to endure.
“It’s amazing. It’s beautiful. We are really, really happy,” said Antunes before placing baby Ronaldo in the waiting arms of Antunes’ excited 9-year-old daughter, Madeleine.
Not only do the twins have different birthdays — March 2 and March 26 — they also have different zodiac signs, Pisces and Aries.
So-called delayed interval deliveries like da Silva’s are extremely rare and even less common when they are nearly a month apart, according to Tufts.
Da Silva’s due date was June 18 but she unexpectedly went into labor at the end of February. Tufts doctors tried to hold off the delivery but on March 2 it became obvious da Silva was going to give birth to one of the babies, said Dr. Sabrina Craigo, chief of maternal-fetal medicine at Tufts Medical Center.
Alexandre was born weighing only 1 pound, 10 ounces, 24 weeks and five days into the pregnancy, and was immediately given respiratory support.
After giving birth to Alexandre, da Silva’s labor began to slow, and doctors decided it was best to just wait before delivering Ronaldo.
“What we did was just hold back and not intervene and wait and try to gain some time,” said Craigo. “Fortunately we gained a month.”
Antunes said waiting for the second twin to be delivered was trying.
“One day turns into one week, two weeks, three weeks, 24 days, and Ronaldo came out with no need for anything, no breathing tube, nothing,” he said. “It was tough but now I can tell it was worth it.”
Ronaldo was born March 26 weighing 3 pounds, 3 ounces.
Both babies are healthy, said Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Associate Medical Director Dr. Gina Geis, who attended Ronaldo’s delivery.
“They have overcome a lot of hardships but they are doing phenomenally now,” she said. “They will be monitored very closely once they go home, but we have great hopes that they will do just fine.”