Tags: twins | 24 | days | apart

Twins 24 Days Apart: Boston Babies, Mom Survive Rare Procedure

By    |   Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 09:19 AM

Twins Alexandre and Rolando Antunes will have a share a lot of things in the coming years, but a birthday won't be one of them, as they were born 24 days apart because of an unusual set of circumstances.

Lindalva da Silva, 35, told the Boston Globe this week that she was scared when she went into labor in February, some four months before her due date, because doctors had told her that babies born that early into the pregnancy rarely survive.

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But health officials at Boston's Tufts Medical Center could not stop da Silva's contractions and decided to go with a rare and risky procedure. Doctors told da Silva and her husband, Ronaldo Antunes, that they could deliver one baby, which would hopefully improve the chances of the second's survival if there were no complications.

"The only time it makes sense to do it is if the prognosis is poor for the second baby if it's born," Dr. Steven Ralston, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, told the Globe.

Ralston said separating twins is only an option with fraternal twins who have their own amniotic sacs and do not share a placenta.

"When you have a situation where one baby is born and labor stops, you are given this window of opportunity," Ralston said to the newspaper "But it's a rare window. Most times, labor does not stop."

The procedure da Silva underwent is so rare because it could lead to infections in the mother. Two large medical centers in Virginia and Tennessee reported just 14 cases of separate twin births over 12 years — that was out of 96,922 deliveries, according to the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

After the procedure, the 1-pound, 10-ounce baby Alexandre grew in an incubator, while his brother stayed in da Silva's womb for three more weeks, ABC News reported.

"The mother is the best place for a preterm baby to develop unless there is evidence of infection," Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a practicing OB/GYN, told ABC News. Luckily, da Silva remained infection free during her three remaining weeks being pregnant with Ronaldo.

He was then born on March 26 at 28 weeks and one day. Today, both babies are healthy and have grown past five pounds.

"They're my miracle babies; Ronaldo because he stayed inside and Alexandre because he's a survivor," da Silva told the Globe.

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Twins Alexandre and Rolando Antunes will have a share a lot of things in the coming years, but a birthday won't be one of them, as they were born 24 days apart because of an unusual set of circumstances.
twins, 24, days, apart
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2014-19-11
Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 09:19 AM
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