When Cadence and Jaxson Moore were born last September, they were so premature that they could have been legally aborted in the womb.
They were born at just 23 weeks and six days, each weighing a little more than a pound, according to The Sun. Despite doctors’ predictions that the twins would die, the British babies and their parents fought for their survival; and as a result the Cadence and Jaxson are about to turn 1 year old.
Jourdan and Matt Moore had a long and difficult journey to become parents of the twins. Jourdan suffers from severe Crohn’s disease, and the only medication that helps her also makes her womb inhospitable to babies, according to the report.
The Moores decided to adopt, but they waited for years and never welcomed a child into their home. It was then that the couple began pursuing snowflake adoption, the adoption of human embryos donated from couples who go through in vitro fertilization.
They adopted Cadence and Jaxson as embryos, and their friend, Hollie Mentesana, volunteered to be the surrogate for them, the report states. Something went wrong after 23 weeks of pregnancy, however, and Hollie was taken to the hospital where doctors delivered the babies via C-section.
“The doctor looked at me and said the babies are coming right now and at 23 weeks they will not make it,” Jourdan remembered. “I didn’t want to believe it, as we’d come through so much to reach that stage. Still, we had no choice but to prepare ourselves for their deaths.”
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Doctors advised the Moores to choose palliative care over life support, but the couple wanted their twins to have a fighting chance. Jourdan said the twins were given a 21 percent chance of survival.
The twins weighed a little more than one pound each when they were born. They spent 98 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, according to the report. Jourdan said she only went home for two hours during the whole time the babies were in the hospital, and she spent hours every day holding them.
“I did five hours of skin-to-skin contact every day with each baby, so I was able to bond with them at such a young age,” she said.
Almost a year later, the twins have some health problems, but they are home and doing well. Jaxson is short-sighted and wears glasses; and Cadence has chronic lung disease and requires oxygen at night, according to the report.
Jourdan and Matt call their children “miracles.” While they were in the hospital, they said they watched other heartbreaking cases where families lost premature babies.
“I’m so blessed and lucky that we had a good outcome, but that’s not the case for everyone,” she said.
Abortion is legal up to 24 weeks in England, where the Moores live. At the age the twins were born, they still could legally have been aborted for any reason. The 24-week mark is considered the point of viability, and many countries ban abortions at that mark or earlier. However, new research has found that more babies like the Moores’ are surviving earlier outside the womb.
A 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that a significant number of babies are surviving even earlier than 24 weeks, generally considered the point of viability. Researchers followed almost 5,000 babies who were born before 27 weeks gestation and found that 23 percent of babies born at just 22 weeks gestation survived with treatment.