Nurse, 32, gives birth to ‘one in a million’ twins, one of whom has Down’s syndrome

A proud mother has spoken of her pride after welcoming a set of one-in-a-million twin girls; one born with Down’s syndrome and the other without.

Nicola and Todd Bailey, from Sheffield, didn’t find out their daughter Harper had the genetic disorder until she was born, 38 minutes before twin sister Quinn.

The pair claim that doctors said sorry when they broke the news, but they insist the condition is anything to apologise for.

They insist both their girls are perfect and they wouldn’t change either of them ‘for the world’.

Baby Harper, who has Down’s syndrome (left) was born first, but her mum didn’t even see her before she was rushed off for care, and Quinn (right) was born 38 minutes later
Mum Nicola at 33 weeks pregnant with son Lucas. Recalling the moment 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’

Nicola, a nurse, is now striving to educate people about the genetic condition and reduce the stigma.

The 32-year-old said: ‘Harper is Harper and Quinn is Quinn – they are not the same so I try not to compare them, however hard that may be.’

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, an account manager at Auto Trader, also have a son Lucas, four, and were excited when they found out they were expecting 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.

Her waters broke at 32 weeks, but medication stopped the contractions and they were eventually born a week later at Rotherham Hospital on February 15.

Harper was born first, but Nicola didn’t even see her before she was rushed off for care, and Quinn was born 38 minutes later.

Nicola added: ‘Again, I saw a quick glimpse of Quinn across the room before she was taken away to join her sister.’

Harper Jade was born at 8:02am weighing 5lbs 1oz and Quinn Mae was born at 8:40am weighing 4lbs 2oz.

Just half an hour later doctors broke the news they suspected she had Down’s syndrome and tests later confirmed the diagnosis.

Special delivery: Nicola’s waters broke at 32 weeks, but medication stopped the contractions and they were eventually born a week later at Rotherham Hospital on February 15
Harper (pictured) 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

‘All I really remember is the doctor saying ‘I’m sorry’,’ said Nicola. ‘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.

Harper and Quinn had special care due to their prematurity, and doctors discovered Harper had 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.

‘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,’ said Nicola.

‘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.

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