A mother talked about a pair of one-in-a-million twin girls, one born with Down’s syndrome and the other without.
Nicola and Todd Bailey, from Sheffield, had no idea that their daughter Harper had the genetic disorder until she was born, 38 minutes before twin sister Quinn.
Nicola is now trying to educate people about the genetic condition and reduce the stigma.
Nicola was recalling the moment when she discovered she was pregnant with twins. She said: ‘We just looked at the screen then at each other, completely speechless. My husband went white as a ghost.’’
Harper is Harper and Quinn is Quinn – they are not the same so I try not to compare them, however hard that may be.’’
‘I don’t see Harper as any different to my other children and would not change her for the world.
‘You do see people staring at her and it’s hard at times as the perception of Down’s syndrome can be so negative.
‘We get comments like ‘oh is she a Down’s baby’ or ‘I know a Down’s girl’. She’s not a Down’s baby, she’s a baby with Down’s syndrome.’’
‘They still break the news by saying ‘I’m sorry’. I’m really not sorry. Harper is perfect I would not change her, her little smile lights up the room and she is who she’s supposed to be.’
Nicola and Todd also have a son who is Lucas,4, and they were so excited when finding out they are going to become parents again.
Sonographers announced it was twins at their 12-week scan, and later were told it was two girls, but scans didn’t pick up any abnormalities.
‘I did have a weird feeling as I got bigger a lot quicker than my previous pregnancy and was so sick,’ Nicola added.
‘We just looked at the screen then at each other, completely speechless. My husband went white as a ghost.
Harper was born first and Quinn was born 38 minutes later. But Nicola didn’t see Harper because she was dashed for care.
Nicola told: ‘Again, I saw a quick glimpse of Quinn across the room before she was taken away to join her sister.
After half an hour Doctors revealed the news they suspected she had Down’s syndrome and tests later confirmed the diagnosis.
Harper has a hole in her heart, common in children with Down’s syndrome – which will likely need to be operated on when she is six years old.
Nicola said: ‘All I really remember is the doctor saying ‘I’m sorry’,’
”But as soon as I saw them both my heart just melted. They were both so beautiful.”
”But I knew straight away when looking at Harper that she had Down’s syndrome.”
”I go to twin baby groups but it’s hard to see other mums with twins, as I know my girls’ bond will be so different to theirs,” she added.
”Harper still needs lots of extra care. She only takes small amounts of feed so we have to make sure she feeds every two hours.”
”But Quinn has hair envy – she has some blonde fuzz while Harper has a brilliant brown mop which we can now tie in a top knot.”
”Harper found her smile early on and Quinn continues to be the diva of the pair.”
”But they both light up when they’re around each other and are looking at each other more and more.”
”I love to dress them the same, and sometimes even coordinate myself. Despite the fact they’re not identical and Harper has Down’s syndrome, I can still see the tips of their little noses and lips are the same.”
”The bond they share as twins are like nothing else and I can’t wait to continue to watch them both grow.”
”Our family is unique and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”