It is a world record for sure. Twins, Amy and Katie were born to mom Maria Jones-Elliott not few minutes or few hours apart but a full 87 days apart! Doctors say it is likely the first of its kind incident in Irish medical history.
Maria Jones-Elliott and her husband Chris are from Glenmore, Co Kilkenny. Last June Maria went into labor four months and gave birth to her daughter Amy on June 1st.
Although she was expecting twins, Maria’s contractions stopped after Amy’s birth. Under close supervision at the Waterford Regional Hospital she managed to carry her second baby for almost 3 additional months before she made her appearance on August 27.
Dr Eddie O’Donnell of the hospital says that such an occurrence is very rare and the couple are lucky that both babies are safe and healthy.
“Most people haven’t heard of this,” said Dr O’Donnell, who worked with the delivery team. “There were cases documented as far back as the 1800s of babies born 40 days apart. Two weeks is the longest I’ve ever seen.”
The doctor adds that in most cases of twins the contractions continue after the birth of the first baby till the second is delivered as well. In cases where contractions suddenly stop after the first birth, an induced birth is normally attempted.
In Maria’s case an induced birth was tried but was unsuccessful. The couple then decided for nature to takes its own course.
It was a risky decision as a lengthy interval between birth of babies could pose many health risks.
“You can end up losing a twin, it could be stillborn,” Dr O’Donnell said. “There are also a number of health issues that can present when a child is born prematurely and this can prove fatal.”
For Katie and Amy however the complications were limited to the huge gap between their birth. It is a world record according to the doctor as the last medical recorded case of such kind was of the birth of twins 84 days apart.