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Twins born as micro-preemies grow toward their 10th birthday

Weighing just a little over a pound each, the now fourth-graders thrive on World Prematurity Day.

GILBERT, Ariz. — A Gilbert mom is in awe over her twins who will soon reach an upcoming milestone she never thought was possible after giving birth at just 23 weeks in her pregnancy. 

Robinson and Harper Basaldu were born on April 12, 2012, about four months premature. 

Credit: Lori Kometer

Lori Kometer, the twin's mother, said she didn't even have a baby bump when she went into labor. 

"My coworkers didn't know I was pregnant," said Kometer. 

Just weeks before giving birth, Kometer was diagnosed with a subchorionic hemorrhage- a type of blood clot found in the womb during pregnancy.

After having contraction pain, Kometer said she was told by her doctor to pack her bags and head to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. 

As the twins grew, the blood clot grew, which led to Kometer giving birth more than four months early. 

Credit: Lori Kometer

The twins stayed in the St. Joseph's level three NICU unit for more than 100 days.

"I didn't know babies could survive at that amount of time outside of my womb," said Kometer. "I just thought my pregnancy was over."

The Basaldu twins weighed a little over a pound each.  

“I still get so emotional when I look back on our NICU experience,” said Kometer. “I just can’t believe these nurses and doctors can help grow these babies outside the womb."

They were referred to as "micro-preemies." This term is used to describe babies born before the 26th week of pregnancy and who weigh less than two pounds.

"I was just in shock. I mean, my kids had no eyes," said Kometer. "They just had half of a face. They had little undeveloped ears and see-through bodies."

After growing and developing their bodies in incubators, the Basaldu family was finally able to take their babies home in June and July of 2012.

Credit: Lori Kometer

Today, Robinson and Harper Basaldu are healthy fourth-graders who enjoy swimming and spending time outdoors. 

Credit: Lori Kometer

"They play soccer, they have hip hop class and they really have no side effects to being premature," said Kometer. "I basically gave all of my trust to these nurses who I've never met until that day. I just feel so thankful and grateful to the St. Joseph's staff."

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