These breathtaking images document the delivery of the second-most premature infants to survive.
Makayla and Makenzie Pope were delivered at 22 weeks and three days gestation. Their mother, Tracey Hernandez of Durham, North Carolina, was informed by doctors that her children had no hope of survival.
The photographs were taken at Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina on December 8, 2019. The images depict one of the infants still inside the amniotic sac, with Makenzie weighing less than 1 pound and 1 ounce and Makalya measuring 1 pound and 3 ounces.
The premature birth of the sisters rendered their skin translucent and their pupils closed.
Their ecstatic mother, 33-year-old Tracey Hernandez, stated, “When I went into labor, I was informed that their chances of survival were 0%. According to them, infants born before 23 weeks do not survive.
Thankfully, the twins have flourished beyond the doctors’ and family’s expectations, despite the doctors’ concerns. Makayla and Makenzie were born at 7:55 p.m. and 8:04 p.m. on December 8, 2019, four months before their delivery date of April 9, 2020.
There is no explanation, according to Tracey, a mother of three, for why the twins decided to enter the world so soon. She recalls feeling “uncomfortable” while out purchasing for Christmas on the date of their premature birth.
Tracey gave birth 18 weeks prematurely and was terrified that her children would not survive. According to the Guinness World Records, Iowa twins Keeley and Kambry Ewoldt were born on November 24, 2018, at a gestational age of 22 weeks and one day, or 155 days.
In November of 2010, a German baby was born the earliest of all time. Freida Mangold was born at a gestational age of 21 weeks and 5 days. James Elgin Gill, who was born 128 days prematurely in Ottawa, Canada in 1987, shares the world record with her.
The survival rate of infants born at 22 weeks gestation in the United States is between 0 and 10 percent. Makayla and Makenzie are learning to breathe on their own and feed from a bottle after surviving the critical first few weeks of their fragile existence.
Tracey stated, “We are still in the ICU, but we anticipate returning home soon.” Soon, we will commence transitional care, the final phase before returning home. This is a privilege, and my parents are extremely proud of my children.