Jemma Haig and her fiancé, Murray McKirdy, couldn’t have been more excited when they found out they were expecting triplets.
Then Haig and McKirdy learned that two of their three triplets were conjoined. According to the Metro, the conjoined babies shared a heart, a respiratory system, and a digestive system.Jemma Haig
Haig and McKirdy were given two options — they could have a selective reduction to remove the conjoined twins or lose all three babies. Selection reductions are sometimes offered during multifetal pregnancies when one or more of the fetuses need to be removed for medical reasons.
The pair, who live in Scotland, chose to remove the conjoined twins. Haig explained their decision:
“We came to the informed decision to have a selective reduction of our conjoined twins as we couldn’t bear to make them suffer. We knew that procedure carried risks of miscarriage of all foetuses and premature birth but we just hoped and prayed for the best.”
Following the procedure, Haig was able to remain pregnant until 32 weeks. However, once the mom started to bleed, doctors knew they had to get the baby boy out as quickly as possible.
Haig and McKirdy’s son, Thomas, was born weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces. He had to spend the first three weeks of his life in the neonatal intensive care unit, where he was treated for several medical issues.
Haig wrote on Facebook that Thomas’s birth and pain she endured after losing his siblings really made her start appreciating life so much more:
It isn’t until recently that we’ve appreciated how amazing life really is. We are unbelievably blessed with our babies we get to spend each day with, Abigail and Thomas, but we were also unbelievably blessed with our precious babies we didn’t get to meet. My heart often hurts thinking about the firsts we won’t experience, steps, words, cuddles, but that will make us appreciate our two children that little bit more. We’ll hold them that little bit tighter and never stop thinking about the babies we didn’t meet.
Now, the proud parents hope that by sharing their story it will help bring comfort to other new parents going through a similar situation:
“We had a 20-mile round trip to visit our son, but some parents often have to travel much further. Thomas only spent three weeks in hospital but during that time, Bliss helped us get through it.”
Bliss is a nonprofit organization that provides care for premature and sick babies as well as care and support for their families.
In addition to sharing their story, the couple, along with Thomas and their 3-year-old daughter, will be taking the 27-mile “Go the Distance” challenge as a way to raise further awareness.
According to Bliss, the average parent of a child spending time in the NICU travels 27 miles a day.
During the challenge — which encourages participants to take on a 27- or 100-mile challenge — the family will spend two days hiking as their way of “going the distance.”
Haig is excited to bring awareness to the charity, as Bliss is what got her through those lonely days in the NICU. She said:
“As my partner had to return to work, I often found myself alone on the unit. I often looked on Bliss’ Facebook page and spoke with mothers in the same position as me.
As a neonatal unit isn’t a place any new mother wants to be, Bliss made me comfortable and made sure I knew what was going on with my baby and I cannot thank them enough for all they do for myself and other parents.”
The proud mom is thrilled by how many people have already been touched by their story and she can’t thank Bliss enough for all they did for her.