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Mom stunned to give birth to twins 22 days apart: ‘Genuinely couldn’t believe it’

A UK mom gave birth to twins 22 days apart in different hospitals, baffling doctors and other twin moms. One of the boys was a stillborn, but the other survived.
A UK mom gave birth to twins 22 days apart in different hospitals, baffling doctors and other twin moms. One of the boys was a stillborn, but the other survived.

Her birth experience was truly one of a kind.

A UK mom gave birth to twins 22 days apart in different hospitals, baffling doctors and other twin moms.

“To this day, I still can’t find a woman in the UK who can beat 22 days,” Kayleigh Doyle, 22, told SWNS of the gap between births.

Doyle became pregnant with the twins in October 2020, recalling that all of her scans were normal.

She says she didn’t have any complications until she felt labor pains on March 15, 2021.

She gave birth to son Arlo, who was stillborn. She delivered son Astro (pictured here) 22 days later. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS
She gave birth to son Arlo, who was stillborn. She delivered son Astro (pictured here) 22 days later. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS
Astro was delivered on April 11 at 4:12 a.m., via C-section at Saint Mary’s — and he thrived against all odds. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS
Astro was delivered on April 11 at 4:12 a.m., via C-section at Saint Mary’s — and he thrived against all odds. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS

“I was aware of all the risks that came with having twins. I even paid for private [doctor] appointments because I was so worried about complications,” she said. “When I hit 22-and-a-half weeks, literally, I was in bed and had the worst pain of my entire life. I wasn’t sure what was going on, so I went to the toilet downstairs, and my waters broke.”

Doyle was rushed to Royal Oldham Hospital and kept under observation for five days.

She gave birth to baby Arlo naturally at 4:20 a.m., on March 20, 2021 — he was 17 weeks early, and he only weighed 1.1 pounds.

He was stillborn, with doctors presuming a blood clot in the placenta may have been the cause.

“He looked like a normal baby,” Doyle remembered. “[Doctors] sat me down after I gave birth, and told me they weren’t expecting ‘twin two’ to survive — and he’ll probably be born in the next couple of hours.”

Astro, now 2, weighed 2 pounds at birth. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS
Astro, now 2, weighed 2 pounds at birth. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS

But Arlo’s brother didn’t arrive immediately. Doyle’s contractions stopped, and she was sent home to rest.

“After the trauma of giving birth to my first baby — I was gobsmacked when they said I could go home,” the Manchester mom said.

She started making appointments with a different doctor, at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

“We had daily check-ups in between the two births,” Doyle explained. “Every day that passed, he’d say he genuinely couldn’t believe it.”

Incredibly, 22 days later, Astro was delivered on April 11 at 4:12 a.m., via C-section at Saint Mary’s — and he thrived against all odds.

Doctors decided to perform the surgery after discovering a placental abruption, which is when the placenta separates from the inner wall of the uterus, potentially depriving the baby of oxygen.

Astro suffered complications from being born prematurely, including a hole in his heart and retinopathy, which causes abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS
Astro suffered complications from being born prematurely, including a hole in his heart and retinopathy, which causes abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS

Astro, now 2, weighed 2 pounds at birth. He suffered complications from being born prematurely, including a hole in his heart and retinopathy, which causes abnormal blood vessel growth in the eyes.

“When Astro arrived, I couldn’t believe he had survived all that time,” Doyle confessed.

Two weeks after coming home with Astro, Doyle held a funeral for Arlo.

She said raising one baby while grieving his twin has been incredibly hard.

“We’d bought double everything for the babies — two cots, a pram with two seats. It was hard seeing the twin moms I followed on TikTok recording all their milestones,” she confided.

Doyle said raising one baby while grieving his twin has been incredibly hard. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS
Doyle said raising one baby while grieving his twin has been incredibly hard. Kayleigh Doyle / SWNS

But she channeled her grief into supporting others, eventually training as a natal intensive care unit (NICU) volunteer.

“I heard a NICU charity was looking for volunteers in Manchester — looking for people to do stay-and-play sessions and going to the cot side of premature babies. I went through a year of training — and you’ve got to have had a premature baby to do it,” Doyle noted.

“I know what it’s like to feel in the dark about it — especially with the gap in between the two babies. As well as lonely — because everyone used to ask me where ‘twin one’ was,” she continued. “But I honestly can’t think of anything more rewarding. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.”