Asha and Surabhi’s play room is recovering from a doll fashion show. It’s a colourful mess of dolls who are on-point with their style and also have great business careers (the six-year-old twins made laptops out of paper for the models).
“They both have such funny imaginations,” says their mom Natasha, laughing.
The twins started life at just over 25 weeks. Asha weighed only 600 grams and Surabhi weighed 700 grams, and both girls had brain bleeds. They spent three months in Sunnybrook’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and one month at Credit Valley Hospital.
Each year, Sunnybrook cares for around 70 ‘micro-preemies’ who are born before 26 weeks of pregnancy. Nearly 200 families are also cared for in Sunnybrook’s Twins Clinic, which provides state-of-the-art care and support to families with twins in an effort to prevent pregnancy complications and improve the health of the birthing parent and their babies.
“When you have such a premature baby, your mind races. What will the future look like? It’s a stressful time,” says Natasha, who says both girls, now in grade one, have met all of their milestones.
On Multiple Births Awareness Day, Natasha says her advice for other parents of premature infants is to not sweat the small stuff, and don’t compare your children to other kids.
“Take it day by day, and lean on the team in the NICU. I felt so alone at the time and didn’t understand what was happening. The way the health care team gets the whole family involved is incredible. The NICU staff will always be a part of our family.”