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'Éabha and Fiadh were born prematurely at 28 weeks': Sinéad shares the story behind this smiley snap

“They’ve had their own little struggles.”

EACH WEEK, A different Irish parent chats us through a family photo from Instagram and explains what was really going on outside the frame – from tantrums to toilet disasters.

Fancy taking part? Email amy@thejournal.ie with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature.

bba0b7d2-fa28-456d-afb7-88ec30a8d63f Source: Sinéad Cusack

This week, Sinéad Cusack (@mommy_cupla_) chatted us through a happy photo of her twin girls Éabha and Fiadh. 

Tell us a bit about this photo. What inspired you to take it?

Éabha and Fiadh were born prematurely at 28 weeks due to the development of twin-to twin-transfusion (TTTS) in the womb. As a result, they have had their own little struggles along the way, but fortunately they are happy, healthy and active toddlers today. Their father took this photograph of them on a recent shopping trip. I think he took approximately twenty similar photos, however this is the only one in which they’re both looking at the camera! It is also one of the first photos that we have of Fiadh wearing glasses. 

What’s one thing that’s going on in this photo that you wouldn’t know from looking at it?

Fiadh is the smaller of the twins. She was born weighing just 1lb 8oz and has had a few health difficulties since. It has been almost one year since she had surgery to correct both hips and she has made fantastic progress since! More recently, we noticed that there was a problem with Fiadh’s eyes, hence her super stylish pink glasses in this photograph. She loves them and is so proud of them. Her happy, carefree outlook on life is so refreshing. We are hoping that her glasses do the trick and that she avoids any future surgeries. Éabha, of course, has a felt a little left out with all the attention her sister is getting, but we’re doing our best to explain the situation to her and to ensure that she gets plenty of attention too.

We are a family that just keep going. Sometimes it’s a matter of taking it one day at a time, but it always works out in the end. In those early days with the girls, I thought we would never adjust to our new lives. The sicknesses, the hospital stays, what seemed liked endless sleepless nights. However, it does get easier. The girls are three years old now and thriving. They have slowly but surely become their own little people with even bigger personalities. When I take a step back, I couldn’t be prouder of the little girls they have become.

Did it take many attempts to get the right shot?

A smiling photograph of the girls in a shopping centre is a rarity! We avoid shopping centres with the twins at all costs. Those kind of trips almost always end in a tantrum of some sort, whether it’s over ice cream, a balloon or those horribly annoying coin-operated kids rides – there’s always something! The girls much prefer the outdoors anyway, so unless absolutely necessary, shopping trips are a big no-no!

Do you have a family photo from Instagram with a great behind-the-scenes story?

The day at the beach when the little one ingested a mouthful of sand – or the smiley photo taken just minutes after a tantrum? If so, we want to hear from you! Email amy@thejournal.ie with a few lines about yourself and your kids for a chance to feature in What You Don’t See Here.

More: ‘Out of shot, I was still in my pyjamas’: Amy shares the reality behind this snap of her twins

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