When Kayleigh Lever, 33, and her partner Robbie, 35, learned that they were expecting twins to join their existing brood of six, Kayleigh couldn’t believe it.
Her twins, Hudson and Hope, were delivered at 26 weeks due to her illness, and they stayed in the hospital for 114 days before being allowed to go home.
In a heartbreaking video, Ellie, 13, Jacob, 9, Jayden, 8, and Parker, 3, are shown seeing their baby brother and sister for the first time while most of them are overcome with grief.
When we were eventually able to bring them home, Kayleigh recounts, ‘We didn’t inform their big brothers and sisters, so it was a complete surprise when they arrived home from school.’
‘We will always remember this moment because I was able to record it on camera.’ ‘The nurse wanted to talk to them all about their new brother and sister, so I told them to all come home right away from school.’
‘They were just in utter amazement when they first saw them. On a twin nursing pillow, Hope and Hudson were lying down.’ The boys were all so stunned when Ellie started crying and they were unsure of what to do.”
‘They had only ever seen pictures and videos of them since Covid regulations prevented them from entering the hospital. We shall never forget that pleasant moment because it was so special.
After experiencing bleeding, Kayleigh was taken by ambulance to Southmead Hospital in Bristol. After being treated there for a week, she was released; unfortunately, as she was being driven home, her waters ruptured.
Returning quickly to the hospital, Kayleigh underwent an emergency C-section to deliver her twins 14 weeks early. Hope weighed 1 lb 6 oz and Hudson weighted 1 lb 7 oz; according to Kayleigh, she wasn’t able to hold either of them until they were four weeks old.
Kayleigh furthers: ‘Even worse, I had nothing prepared at the time. I only had a pram and a single car seat. Our folks had to make several donations and purchase everything for us.
‘There is always a chance of having premature twins, but I never imagined them arriving at 26 weeks. I definitely wasn’t planning on having them so early.
‘They were the size of Robbie’s hand, which shocked me at how tiny they were. Our only option for diapers was Asda’s pharmacy, where preterm newborns can acquire them for nothing.
‘Hope was transported from Taunton Hospital to St. Michael’s where she had to have a stoma bag installed, 10 cm of her stomach removed, and then the reversal surgery of the stoma bag a few weeks later because she grew pretty ill in the hospital and had a milk curdle obstruction.
It was horrifying; at one point, we were informed that she wouldn’t survive since doctors weren’t sure what they would discover during the procedure. ‘She survived, and fortunately it wasn’t as serious as they expected.’
They were separated for nine weeks as a result of this. Additionally, because the hospital runs were an hour apart from one another, I had to make twice as many of them.
It took 40 minutes to go to Hudson and an hour and a half to get to Hope when I was always running the M5 route. After spending a grueling 114 days in a neonatal facility, Kayleigh and her spouse, HGV driver Robbie, were finally allowed to take their preterm babies home. Today, they are doing fantastically.
Regarding how the kids are adjusting to the new family members, she said: ‘They are really devoted to them.’ ‘Ellie is acting like a little mother; she is happy to have a sister in the family as well, and the boys are behaving well and pitching in.’