6 September 2022

In January 2018 I was diagnosed with a Complete Bicornuate Uterus where I was carrying a baby in each uterine cavity. Whilst uterine abnormalities are fairly common, successfully carrying a pregnancy in each was not! There were very few success cases and I was told to prepare for either a late miscarriage or premature birth. Fortunately, my miracle babies hung tight and were delivered via c-section at 34 weeks.

Due to being premature, a stay in Neonatal was inevitable, however, nothing can quite prepare you for the rollercoaster of emotions that were to follow. Immediately after delivery, I got to hold my daughter Poppy for a few short minutes, but I never got to hold my son Piran. Both were whisked off to Neonatal and I remember the torn look on my husband's face, I told him to follow our babies and that I would be fine. It was 13 hours before I got to hold my darling boy for the first time, for that, I felt and still feel immense guilt. Those precious first hours taken away that you can never get back, I felt cheated that someone else was caring for my babies.

Once down on the postnatal ward, it was more heartbreaking to hear new mums and their babies around me and I just sat and cried because I wanted my babies with me. I soon grew stronger and realised I needed to do whatever I could to support my babies and therefore I focused on establishing my milk supply, expressing every 2 hours. The postnatal ward was quite a distance from the Neonatal unit but I was determined to get my milk to my babies so all my energy went into walking there and back several times per day.

Jennifer House, husband and newborn twins Piran and Poppy

Staff in the unit were fantastic, it really does take a special person to work there and it is evident with every turn. Not only are they amazing in caring for such tiny, precious lives but they also have great empathy and understanding of just how parents are feeling.

My babies were growing stronger by the day and I was just starting to find a rhythm and felt like i was more than just a bystander in their care. Then things were to change again, I was discharged home. Leaving hospital without my babies was the hardest thing I have ever done and I don’t think anything can prepare you for that feeling, however, I knew they were in the best hands.

Baby in neonatal care


I visited the hospital daily and took my supply of milk along with me as well as numerous bottles of water, neonatal was hot and I was always so thirsty in there! Visiting was always challenging as we had an eight-year-old daughter at home who liked to see her new brother and sister but also found the unit rather boring.

Once our babies were strong enough we could start to think about them coming home, this was exciting and extremely daunting all rolled into one. We were able to spend 4 nights on the unit in a parent transition room, we got to sleep in their with our babies but knowing the support of staff was just the other side of the door if we needed it.

My experience of having children in neonatal was like nothing I had ever experienced. I think looking back I would advise new parents to keep an open mind, try and let go of the pre-conceived ideas of what those first moments in babies' lives will be like, and focus on the future. Parenting is an emotional rollercoaster and I look back now and remind myself that I should just be a little bit kinder to myself.

Twin babies, Piran and Poppy House

Piran and Poppy are now fearless four-year-olds and preparing to start school in September, my miracle babies continue to thrive and achieve daily and we could not be prouder of them.’