Claire and James Weir are proud parents of the youngest twins to be born in Great Britain, according to The Sun. At approximately one pound in weight, Imogen and Annabelle Weir were born at 23 weeks and 4 days.
“They are the youngest and smallest surviving twins to be born in Scotland,” Claire Weir told The Sun. “I’d never heard of twins so small surviving. It didn’t seem possible for one, let alone two.”
Their story makes the call to ban late-term abortions even more pressing. The legal cut off for abortions currently is 24 weeks in the UK. Many doctors do not believe an unborn baby to be viable outside the womb prior to this time, but the twins and other preemies are proving otherwise.
“I think it shows that as medical science continues to improve and improve, the so-called time of viability where a baby can be born alive and survive outside the womb, is going to be pushed lower and lower,” Peter Williams, Executive Officer for Right to Life, stated to Premier.
“What this should really tell us is that the abortion limit as we have it, given the humanity of the unborn child, this arbitrary limit of 24 weeks should really be pushed back further.”
Claire Weir told reporters:
“The consultant told us that if the girls had been born just two years ago they wouldn’t have survived — that’s how fast medical technology is advancing. They have surprised everyone. They will always be our little miracles.”
Claire’s pregnancy seemed to be proceeding normally as of her 20- week checkup; however, her water broke just a couple weeks later, the report continued.
According to the medical team at the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Paisley, resuscitating the girls would not be possible if they were born prior to 28 weeks gestation, so the couple sought care at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow instead.
“I was just trying to keep the babies inside me for as long as possible. It was a really horrible time, filled with worry,” Claire told The Sun.
“I just tried not to move too much. I was even worried to go to the toilet. After 23 weeks they would at least have a chance of resuscitation so I hoped they would stick in there. Each day brought more hope.”
“I got to more than 23 weeks but then I got very ill with a sepsis infection and they had to induce me. The fact that they were twins, that I had an infection and they were so premature all lowered their chance of survival. I didn’t have a lot of hope.”
However, the twins were born last April, the BBC reports. The baby girls spent their first four months of life in the hospital, undergoing blood transfusions and emergency surgery; they were unable to wear clothing for fear their skin may tear, The Sun continued.
“They were whisked away to intensive care – I didn’t even get to see them,” Claire told the BBC. “I got to hold Imogen after about six days but Annabelle was smaller and more vulnerable, so I didn’t get to hold her for a few weeks. They were so tiny they fitted in one hand.”
The babies are now thriving at home in Paisley in Renfrewshire, according to the BBC. “It was a terrifying experience but wonderful to be at home now as a family,” Claire stated. “Now we are experiencing all the normal struggles new parents have but we have loved every minute. We know how lucky we are.” According to the BBC, the family has been supported by the Twin and Multiple Births Association (Tamba) during the ordeal.
According to Tamba:
“To see premature babies born this early and go on to do so well is incredibly rare. It is a testament to the wonderful medical staff that they are now growing well.”