high-risk | 

Transplant mum says Irish doctors are her 'gods' after miracle tots born at 25 weeks

Ionela spoke of the amazing care they all received at the Rotunda Hospital

Ionela and husband Vasile at home with the twins

Caoimhe Young

Beaming mum Ionela Majdik says Irish doctors are her "gods and her family" because they made her pregnancy possible and kept her premature tots alive.

Even though she is a kidney transplant patient, her dream of becoming a mum became a reality when twins Adam and Arya, weighing just 1.9lbs and 1.3lbs, were born in 2019.

The general nurse, who lives in Balbriggan, Dublin, had a C-section at 25 weeks (about five-and-a-half months) and spent the first 95 days of their little lives in ICU in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

Ionela says: "Adam and Arya are beautiful, they are healthy and my story is amazing. They are two years and one month now from the date of their premature birth.

"It was a natural pregnancy and we did not ever expect to get pregnant. In my country I had a kidney transplant. We are from Romania and back in our country nobody would give us a chance to have a baby.

Baby Adam in hospital

"I was born with a small kidney and spent years on dialysis. My kidney doctors changed my medication here in Ireland and made it possible.

"It was a little bit scary for me to get pregnant," she admits now. "I just thought if it happened, it happened, but after only eight or nine weeks I got pregnant.

"I was terribly busy and so was my husband. I was working as a nurse and my husband was busy too - he is a manager for 3Mobile. We could not believe we were pregnant.

"We went into the Rotunda Maternity Hospital to check everything was OK and I was so scared. There were no twins in our family, but they were there on the scan. It was the second miracle in my life."

The beautiful mum was a high-risk pregnancy because of her kidney transplant and her little girl Arya began to struggle after five months in the womb.

Ionela adds: "I was feeling well but the doctor saw that Arya's chord did not have a good blood flow. She did not have enough blood, enough food and enough nutrients.

"We kept checking it and I was crying a lot and I was upset, and the medication was making my blood pressure high, so I was admitted for two weeks before a C-section. In those two weeks they did everything for me and my baby.

"On November 6, I had a C-section. Even though I am nurse, never in my life had I seen such small babies and such translucent skin.

"There were a lot of doctors, and the twins were so small I could not touch them in the incubator," she recalls.

"The nurses sent me pictures and they had me send a little bit of milk for both and I was incredibly happy to be able to do this. They checked my kidney as well and everything was fine after a few weeks.

"Being alone was such a tough time for us. We have friends here, but they are not our family.

"We had lot of tests and the medical team looked after me so well. It is such a beautiful story. My kidney doctors were in the Mater Hospital and they reduced my medication so I could get pregnant and then I went to the Rotunda and I had to go to the hospital many times to make sure I was OK."

After two weeks sleeping in the Rotunda, the new mum made the decision to start going home at night, but she spent all day, every day, minding her babies to make them strong.

"Every day from 9am to 11pm I stayed near them and I give them a bath," says Ionela."They taught me so many things in the hospital. They were my family. From the porter at the door to the lady at reception to the nurse at the incubator, they were all so good to me.

"The kids will go to nursery next year and I think I will make friends," she hopes. "They are doing a lot of things and say 'mama' and 'daddy' all day long.

"This is such a happy story and they are doing such an amazing job at the Rotunda. I love them, I appreciate them, they are family."

Go to idonate.ie/rotundaNICU to help support the purchase of vital equipment for the Rotunda NICU.

Any funds raised will go towards the purchase of a LifeStart machine, that enables bedside resuscitation and stabilisation of babies immediately after birth with the umbilical cord intact to allow optimal cord clamping.

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