Chloe her sister Eloise, one, are super rare ‘MoMo’ twins who shared the same birth sac - and a high risk of complications. Both babies nearly died and Chloe was been left brain damaged. Here their mum, Rachel describes the trauma of what happened:
Five days after giving birth to twins I went home with two balloons instead of two babies. We only got five congratulations cards. People simply didn’t know what to say, others avoided me altogether. I felt unbelievably sad.
Chloe and Eloise are incredibly rare identical twins known as Monochrorionic Monoamniotic twins because they shared one birth sac without a dividing membrane to protect them from each other. They could literally kill one another because of the risk of their umbilical cords becoming tangled, cutting off the blood supply to one or both of them.
Against all the odds they were born alive, but no-one expected them to survive. I went into emotional meltdown.
Chloe suffered three brain injuries before she was born and then endured 100 resuscitations, adding to the damage. I would be breastfeeding Eloise watching Chloe being resuscitated.
We felt devastated and hopeless because no-one could say what was going to happen to Chloe only that her future was bleak and she would be severely disabled.
My husband went back to work while I stayed at home and cared for the girls. I felt so isolated and lonely. For months my only social circle had been doctors and nurses.
There were no toddler groups, no tea and cakes or the chance to meet other mums before Julia’s House stepped in.
When I met Sophie, Chloe’s Julia’s House nurse, it was a wonderful day. It was so lovely to have someone to talk to. After all the trauma it felt like something really positive was happening for once.
Julia’s House was like this ray of light coming into our lives.
Just because I am smiling and seem to be getting on with life doesn’t mean I’m coping. Underneath it all, it's a daily struggle.
People say to me: ‘How do you cope?’ I just have to cope for all our sakes. If I started crying I would never stop.
Knowing that once a week I have the chance to leave the house and have a break - have contact with the outside world – means everything to me. I get a lot of comfort from that.
Julia’s House a place full of friendly faces, where no-one judges you, no-one asks awkward questions and no-one is scrutinising you. It’s a warm welcoming place, free from ignorance and prejudice – it’s my lifeline.
Your Christmas gift of £25 today gives children like Bruce care both in their own home and at our hospices.