British Parents Welcome Rare Twins: One Has Down Syndrome, the Other Doesn't

Playing Mom Has Twins, One With Down Syndrome, in Rare Birth

A British couple has welcomed twins into their family, and both girls are perfect, they say.

It makes absolutely no difference that Harper has Down syndrome and Quinn doesn't, Nicola and Todd Bailey said. They would not change a thing "for the world," both said.

They didn't know Harper had the chromosome disorder until she was born, 38 minutes before Quinn arrived in the world. Nicola is a 32-year-old nurse and prides herself on trying to educate people about the condition that causes a wide range of developmental delays and physical disabilities.

"Harper is Harper and Quinn is Quinn," she said. "They are not the same so I try not to compare them, however hard that may be."

Scans done while she was pregnant did not detect Down syndrome, the parents said. 

"I did have a weird feeling as I got bigger a lot quicker than my previous pregnancy," said Nicola, who also has a 4-year-old son named Lucas. She also felt very sick, she said

Her water broke early, at 32 weeks, and doctors were able to stop her contractions with drugs. The twins were born a week later, in February.

Thirty minutes after Harper was born, physicians told the parents they suspected she had Down syndrome. Tests later confirmed it.

"All I really remember is the doctor saying, 'I'm sorry,''' Nicola recalled. 

"But as soon as I saw them both, my heart just melted. They were both so beautiful."

The premature babies required additional medical care and Harper, as is common in children with Down syndrome, has a hole in her heart. She will likely undergo surgery to fix the condition when she turns 6. 

Nicola says the girls already have a special bond, although the still-bald Quinn appears to be envious of her sister's mop of brown hair. 

"Our family is unique and I wouldn't change it for the world," their mother said. 

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