Double joy: Twins welcome babies on same ward at Cork University Maternity Hospital

Twins recall their special time together at Cork University Maternity Hospital, after they gave birth to baby girls, just days apart, writes SANDRA QUINN
Double joy: Twins welcome babies on same ward at Cork University Maternity Hospital

 Michelle Lewis and Carol Murray with baby Julie and baby Keva. Picture: Kate J Daniel 

HAVING a baby in a pandemic is stressful and lonely, but when you share a maternity ward in CUMH with your twin sister, it becomes a beautiful, special and magical experience.

Twins Carol Murray and Michelle Lewis were born half an hour apart weeks earlier than expected, and recently they both welcomed baby girls into the world, both earlier than expected as well and just two days apart.

As twins, Carol and Michelle have always been extremely close, so when Carol found out she was pregnant and Michelle told her she wasn’t feeling well, she had a feeling her twin was pregnant too.

Originally, they had the same due date, but ended up having their little girls within days of each other.

Carol got a call from the hospital to go in because they were concerned.

“I rang Michelle and told her I was going in and she got a bit lonely that I’d be going in without her.

“Then, later on, as I was getting bags ready, she called to say the hospital were concerned about her blood sugars and she was to go in too. Our sister Bridget brought us both in together,” Carol said.

Baby Julie and Keva, whose mums are twins - the babies were born just days apart. Picture: Kate J Daniel Photography
Baby Julie and Keva, whose mums are twins - the babies were born just days apart. Picture: Kate J Daniel Photography

On the same night that Carol’s waters broke and she was brought for an emergency section, which her husband Conor thankfully arrived in time for, Michelle was being induced and also ended up having an emergency section with her partner Kevin by her side.

Keva Murray was born on October 7 at 1.53am at a weight of 7lbs 7 oz and Julie Cahilll was born on October 9 at 10.47am at a weight of 8lbs.

At the time, visiting was still very much restricted in CUMH and it was a lonely and isolating time for women all over maternity wards, but for Carol and Michelle it was different.

Because it was such a unique situation to have twins in labour at the same time, the midwives put them in the same ward.

“That was a huge consolation for me, because Carol was on her fourth and it was my first baba.

“I was scared of the unknown, but knowing that when I’d have my baby, I’d be going in with my sister and have her to help me, because I wasn’t able to have visitors, was a great consolation.

“I can’t begin to describe how safe I felt when I had Carol with me.

“Carol was always the protector of the twins, I was always the wild one and always got in trouble and Carol was always the one with a good head on her shoulders,” Michelle said.

“I was so convinced hers was a boy, so it was very magical when it was two little girls, and especially when we were twins, it was a huge emotional roller coaster I have to say - I was very happy to have her and it was just amazing,” Carol added.

Michelle Lewis and Carol Murray. Their mother Mary is also pictured, with baby Julie and baby Keva. Picture: Kate J Daniel 
Michelle Lewis and Carol Murray. Their mother Mary is also pictured, with baby Julie and baby Keva. Picture: Kate J Daniel 

“It’s a time that we will never get back, it was so magical, so amazing.

“I was on my fourth and I had the experience, but no matter what you are, you’re still nervous, still worried and still emotional, but having Michelle there took all that away and then, when I had Keva, I was there to help Michelle out.

“I remember one day, she was up all night with Julie and she was exhausted, I had Keva settled and I took Julie, Michelle said she’d manage, but I tucked Julie right next to me. Michelle said to me the peace of mind knowing she could sleep and that Julie was safe, I had her - that’s huge, you just don’t get that.

“Especially with Covid, it’s very lonely, very restrictive, we were only allowed a couple of hours a day with our partners, but we didn’t feel it cos we had each other. Even with curtains closed, she’d shout over a question or ask for advice,” Carol told WOW!

Both of the mothers are doing really well at home.

“I’m flying it, delighted that I have a beautiful healthy baby and it all went great. My other three babies just adore her,” Carol said, saying that her other three children, Lucy, Jack and Oran, just dote on their new little sister.

Life is also a little bit hectic for Michelle, as herself and her partner Kevin run their own business, Galtee Glow candles.

“I’m feeling great, I longed for Julie for a long time. It turns your world upside down, for the better.

“I’m a dog mom and they’re still my fur babies, but it’s amazing to have a little mini me. I’m tired and running a business is that bit more difficult, as I can’t take the maternity leave as I would normally, I’m behind the scenes doing paperwork and my sister Trisha (of Trisha’s Transformations), other sisters, my mother and Kevin’s sisters and family have all been amazing,” Michelle said.

Living next door to each other, in Kilbehenny in Limerick, very close to Mitchelstown, Julie and Keva will no doubt grow up like sisters.

“We live next door to each other, so I do know that they will be the best of friends. Playschool together, Santy, first day of school, they’ll just always have each other’s back and, being twins ourselves, we know how special that bond is and how much you protect each other and you absolutely feel each other’s emotions.

“We absolutely hope that Julie and Keva will be the best of buddies and I’m sure they will.

“They’ll be lifelong friends. It’s just magical, it’s amazing, a dream come true,” Michelle said.

Carol added that they will be so close and they are so excited to watch them grow up together.

“They’ll be starting play school together, doing school together, Communion together, it will be just amazing. 100% they will share everything, pictures of them together will always be taken at events like birthdays, Halloween, and Christmas.

“The two of them will be like sisters. Even now, I’m shopping and buying two of everything and that’s the way it will always be, we’ll always be buying for the other and they’ll be treated the exact same.

“We’ll always be saying, ‘where are the girls?’ It won’t be just ‘where’s Keva or where’s Julie’, it’ll be ‘where are the girls?’, cos we know they’ll be joined at the hip,” Carol said.

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