Mother goes into labor with twins at 23 weeks, one week before the legal cut-off point for abortion in England

Doctors able to stave off delivery for three more weeks

By Dave Andrusko

Hull is a city in Yorkshire, with a population of some 260,000 people, and is located 155 miles north of London. You have to wonder how many other (if any) sets of twin preemies Hull Royal Infirmary had successfully delivered prior to Kacy and Keira Whitaker.

“Leanne Whitaker went into labour one week before the [24 week] cut-off point for abortion – but doctors were able to prevent the birth, and keep her little boy and little girl alive, with surgical stitches,” the Hull Daily Mail’s Hannah Robinson reported.

Robinson’s story is a delight, weaving details about Whitaker’s pregnancy with the delivery that doctors were able to stave off for three weeks to Kacy’s and Keira’s post-delivery accomplishments.

“I went into labour at 23 weeks. They had to stop my labour with surgical stitches and I was left on bed rest,” the 29-year-old mother told Robinson. But then at 26 weeks Leanne’s waters broke.

“Staff won’t stop a labour after 26 weeks,” she explained, “and I had to wait until I was one hour into the 26-week mark before it was safe to deliver and they would have a higher chance of survival.”

Of course the babies were small– Keira weighed 1lb 6oz and Kacy, weighed 1lb 9oz–but they also had serious medical issues.

Keira “suffered with immature lungs and sleep apnea,” while Kacy “had kidney failure and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), which meant part of his intestine had to be cut away and he had a colostomy bag,” Robinson explained.

Originally due January 31 they went home at the end of February. That very difficult start notwithstanding, the girls are progressing

“They are both just over one now, and they are still being tube fed, but hopefully that won’t be for too long,” said Leanne.

“Kacy has had his intestine joined back together and the colostomy bag removed, and they are getting healthier every day.”

Whitaker told the reporter how grateful she was to the hospital staff. “They have come so far and if the staff hadn’t stopped my labour so early my babies would have died,” she said.

To give back Whitaker is raising money for Bliss, the “UK’s leading charity for babies born premature or poorly, and even managed to take Kacy and Keira with her in their pram [stroller].”

To help other babies become stronger, Robinson wrote, “Leanne has reached out to several businesses asking them to donate fabric for incubator covers.”

Whitaker explained, “The best way to get a baby’s strength up is keeping them calm and relaxed, and not scared. The incubator covers help add an extra layer of darkness and they feel more protected.”