CHRISTMAS came early in two very special ways for one family.
Delighted parents Gemma Borer and Dean Broderick have their newborn baby boy and girl back home for the festive season.
The three-month-old twins Logan and Olivia have made remarkable progress since being born 15 weeks early and weighing just 1lb and 14 oz each – less than a bag of sugar.
But the tiny tots are now well enough to leave Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital and spend Christmas with their parents and older half-brothers and sisters Josh, 10, Skye, eight, Megan, seven and four-year-old Chloe.
Mum-of-six Gemma, 29, said: “To have them both home is definitely the best Christmas present ever. My biggest fear was losing them because they were born so early. All my other kids arrived on time or slightly late.
“The doctors and nurses in Winchester were brilliant. They did everything they could to keep my babies alive and looked after them so well and now they are doing amazingly.”
The twins were born by emergency Caesarean at just 25 weeks and three days after Gemma, who lives in Hobb’s Court, Fair Oak, went into premature labour.
Medics began the battle to keep the twins alive before transferring them to a larger neonatal unit at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth for very premature babies.
Gemma and her partner Dean, a driver’s mate, visited their baby twins in hospital while relatives cared for the older children.
Gemma said: “They were fighting for their lives. The doctors said it was the first couple of weeks that would be critical because they were born so early. It was very distressing but we got through it.
“They looked like little, red lobsters because they were so small and really skinny. We could see their bones through their skin.”
At one point Logan suffered a slight bleed on the brain and had lung disease. Both babies had heart murmurs.
After about four weeks, the twins returned to the neonatal unit at Winchester. Both now tip the scales at a healthy 6lb so have been allowed home for the first time.
Gemma, a full-time mum, said: “Olivia is a lot stronger than Logan. She came off oxygen first. They have had scans and everything appears to be OK.
“They might be slower to develop than other babies but they don’t appear to have any problems although they will have regular check-ups.”
She added: “My older children were all very, very excited to have the twins home after 15 weeks in hospital and slightly emotional as well.”
Dr Ian Rodd, consultant paediatrician at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, said: “The Broderick twins really seem to have done extremely well.
“We are very happy with their progress. Like all premature babies, we will monitor their development for as long as they need it.”