Miracle twins grow fast
Miracle twins Esai and Emyr Bean were born four months premature and eight days apart.
The boys fought a desperate battle for life as first-born Emyr weighed only 1lb 7oz and Esai tipped the scales at 2lbs 7oz when they were born in a specialist unit at IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2013.
But the boys who beat the odds, now aged 4, have just finished nursery school and will start primary school later this year.
Mom Edonna Bean said: “When they were officially discharged from IWK, I mentally prepared to be having a lot of contact with the hospital.
“But all they've had is their annual check-ups. They've had maybe a fall or two because they're boys, but we've had zero health issues and we've been very fortunate.”
Dad Ryan added: “We have seen every milestone and embraced every single last milestone with humility.
“Just to see how they're thriving and just to remember what we've gone through with them, its important to remember that it's not how you start, it's how you finish.”
But the couple faced a different picture in October 2013, when Ms Bean was 18 weeks pregnant and it was feared at least one of the boys might not make it to birth.
The couple were told Emyr's amniotic sac had ruptured and he might be too premature to survive.
Ms Bean said: “No one talks to you about all the things that can possibly go wrong and all the things that can possibly go right, you're just given a due date and that's it.
“So when your in emergency with Emyr's amniotic sac ruptured and you're told ‘OK, you're going to be checked in to expel' ...”
Mr Bean added: “One word just comes to mind and that's ‘miscarriage'.”
But bigger Esai was at the top of his mother's womb and kept it open long enough for Emyr to survive for almost two months until their mother went into labour.
Emyr was born first on November 25 and Esai followed eight days later after doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section.
And despite complications, the two boys astonished doctors with their progress and went from strength to strength.
The boys were transferred back to Bermuda and after a month in the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital were at last allowed to go home in March 2014 with follow-up home care.
But the boys were strong enough to start kindergarten aged two in 2015 and were later said to be “high-flyers” by their teachers.
Ms Bean said Emyr had a talent for language and liked animals and Esai was better with people and had a gift for maths.
She added: “I've seen Esai do math problems in his head and when he's told the right answers he'd look at me and say ‘Mommy, I was right'.”
But Ms Bean said the boys had one thing in common.
She explained: “They don't hesitate to give. They say ‘Mommy, is there another little boy that needs help?' and they'll help them pack because they know that there's more to life than just ‘getting, getting, getting'.
The boys' parents said they were amazed at how well the boys had developed.
Ms Bean added: “Many times I say ‘why us? Why were we the ones that were chosen for this moment?'”
But she said: “One of Emyr's middle names is Gabriel, a messenger of God, and I believe that he has a message.
“What it is, I don't know. But he lived, he defied odds and if they were placed in opposite positions in the womb, who can say that it would've turned out in such a positive way.”
Mr Bean said the boys' rocky start to life had underlined the responsibilities of parenthood.
He added: “You are dealing with blank sheets of brilliant paper that whatever little blemish you put on it will reflect, and whatever beautiful script that you put on it will reflect as well.
“I don't want to say it's a fear, because it's not a fear, it's just a slap in the face by reality. It's right in my face that these guys are growing every single day and we've got to keep up.”
Ms Bean said that the little fighters had also made the couple optimistic about the future.
She added: “If I hold on a little too long or a little too hard they have symbolically peeled off my fingers and said ‘Mom, I'm good. It's OK', and I see that manifested when I watch them.”
Mr Bean said: “People don't really talk too much about the emotional side of a man and what attachments to get to your children.
“Its hard as a father to see your little ones becoming little men and I just know my responsibility as a man is so great with having an influence.”
The boys will finish at preschool on June 22 along with their 13 classmates and will start Port Royal Primary School in Southampton in September.
Emyr and Esai said full-time school would be “really, really nice and fun”.
Ms Bean said she was grateful to medical staff in Canada and Bermuda as well as ordinary people who had wished them well.
She added: “I don't forget and I do appreciate those that inquire about them because it lets me know that God gave these two individuals to us but they are still affecting this world in a positive way.
“These are Bermuda's miracle twins and they're doing it. Against all odds they are doing it.”