Our identical twin girls, Dahli and India, were born on 21st January, 2018 at just 27+3 weeks. They were both 35.5cm long, Dahli weighing 925g and India 890g. I was experiencing a healthy, happy pregnancy and having the girls born extremely early was completely unexpected. Having a premature baby or babies in my case, is heart wrenching. It’s so frightening, frustrating, isolating and traumatic; something that no one should have to go through.

Although the experience of having premature babies is terrifying and isolating every day, our babies were warriors and the NICU and Special Care team at The Canberra Hospital were their superheroes. If it was not for the skills, expertise and resources available to our girls and us, we know that our story would have had a heartbreaking ending. However, after 91 days in hospital, we were able to take our gorgeous warrior princesses home. We know that we are the lucky ones. We were so blessed to bring home two beautiful baby girls and not a day goes by where we forget how fortunate we are.

As our beautiful girls are about to turn 1 (9 months corrected), we have started to train in preparation to run the half marathon in the Australian Running festival to raise awareness about premature birth and funds for The Newborn Intensive Care Foundation. I will be pushing the girls, who will then be 15months old (12 months corrected) the whole way. We have been given a special exemption to run with our twin running pram and will be the very first pram in this event!

The Newborn Intensive Care Foundation is a local charity that raises money for medical equipment, research and nurse education to help give the ACT and Southern NSW’s critically ill newborn babies, the best chance to lead healthy, normal lives. During our time in hospital I was not aware of the amazing work they have done but after our girls graduated NICU and Special Care, I found their website and all the wonderful things they have been able to achieve.

This foundation purchased a Nava ventilator, which pretty much saved little Dahli’s life (we have joked that we might give her the middle name Nava). Things were not looking good until this amazing technology came along. And not only do they raise money for equipment and education but their funding helped me to provide breast milk to my babies. They purchased the brilliant breast pumps and funded a successful trial for a dedicated lactation consultant for the NICU which was successful – and this amazing lady is still there! If you would like to see more of the amazing work this foundation does, you can check out: https://newborn.org.au

From the very beginning our warrior princesses Dahli and India had a fight to live and without the incredible advances in neonatal technology we would not have our beautiful twins brightening our life every day.

We race on Sunday 14th April (feel free so come and cheer us on!) and we hope that we can raise funds to donate to the Newborn Intensive Care Foundation so we can give back in whatever small way possible.

If you would like to read more about our journey, training, and life after NICU, please follow our blog: https://doubletheluv.com and follow us on Instagram at Double_the_luv

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