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First birthdays for special twins

PUBLISHED: 05:33 01 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

SURPRISING their parents with an unexpectedly early arrival, twins Saffron and Amber Ranoe-Hall weighed little more than a bag of sugar just 12 months ago.

SURPRISING their parents with an unexpectedly early arrival, twins Saffron and Amber Ranoe-Hall weighed little more than a bag of sugar just 12 months ago.

Born 14 weeks prematurely, the two girls spent the first 10 weeks of their lives in sealed incubators, breathing through tubes and receiving intensive life support treatment.

Amber and Saffron weighed just 1lb 7oz and 1lb 15ozs respectively when they were delivered by emergency section at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, but have now beaten all the odds to become happy, healthy one-year-olds.

Celebrating their milestone birthday with their family in Long Melford on Sunday , the twins are now developing well into a typical twosome – keeping parents Dora and Malcolm, and seven-year-old sister Olivia, busy around the clock.

“People looking in can see what an absolute miracle this has been, but I am so busy getting on with things that I don't take time out to think about how things could have turned out,” said Mrs Ranoe-Hall, who was due to give birth to the twins last May.

“Celebrating the twins' birthday brought a lot of the memories of last year back – we had been getting on with life as normal when suddenly they arrived.

“There are lots of things premature babies can have problems with, like their breathing and hearing. But after a series of tests over the past year, Saffron and Amber are both now doing really well.”

The twins spent time in Ipswich Hospital and West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, before finally returning home on April 21 – three weeks before their original due date predicted by medical experts.

By this time, Amber weighed 4lb 7oz and Saffron, who is one minute older than her sister, topped the scales at 5lb 2oz – normal sizes for twin babies.

“They are not quite at the same stage as any other one-year-old yet. Amber does not sit up yet, and neither girl tolerates too much solid food, so they are probably more like eight-month-olds in terms of their development,” added Mrs Ranoe-Hall.

“But by the time they are two, they will probably have caught up. The paediatrician is happy with the way they are developing, as they are doing all the normal things a baby does, but it just takes them a little longer.”


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