TWO surprise bundles of joy delighted a Stratton couple who had suffered the heartbreak of five miscarriages.

Rainbow twins Blossom and Elijah Thompson arrived in the middle of lockdown after parents Charlotte and Steve spent two years trying to start a family.

The birth itself posed a problem when Elijah’s heartbeat stopped and he needed to spend days in intensive care at both the Great Western Hospital Special Care Baby Unit and at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Now 11 weeks old, both babies are doing well, so Charlotte looks back on her journey as a story of hope and a testament to the hardworking medical professionals who supported her and Steve during their time of need.

She said: “We were very lucky and everything’s fine now, which is a huge relief, but it has been quite intense. We did think at times that we were going to miss out and never have a family.

“It does go through your mind regularly, especially every month with a negative test or when you see a positive line which disappears a couple of weeks later.

“When we did find out we were pregnant, we were shocked, especially when they were twins because there are none in our family.

“I was quite upset when Elijah was born cold and floppy and I did feel detached from him for the first week, but the nurses wheeled me into SCBU so I could see him and I cried the first time I got to hold him.

“The staff at GWH were amazing – everyone in the Hazel ward and the delivery suite, the anaesthetists, the consultants – and they all called to check how we were doing after we left hospital. As a registered nurse, it was interesting to see things from the patient side.

“When I tell this story to others, I think it’s hopeful. My family are ecstatic – the grandparents love seeing them – and I can’t believe they are already 11 weeks old, the time’s flying by and they’re hitting all the milestones.”

After three early miscarriages – the first in October 2017 – the couple were referred to Great Western Hospital’s clinic for miscarriages but scans and blood tests failed to show why none of their babies were surviving.

After two more setbacks, they were referred to a specialist at St Mary’s Hospital in London, Professor Leslie Reagan, who conducted more tests that still suggested nothing was wrong.

More thorough internal investigation followed and revealed the cause to Charlotte's inter-uterine septum, where the fertilised eggs were not attaching to the lining of the womb because of scar tissue.

Charlotte fell pregnant with twins two months after the tissue was repaired, much to the couple's surprise.

She added: “It was a relief to know what it was, but I was shocked that there was something wrong because all of the other tests had nothing come up.

“Apparently it’s a common thing and luckily, my case was quite mild.”

At 37 weeks, she was induced into labour at GWH and her waters broke a day later. Doctors became unable to find Eljah’s heartbeat so they rushed her into the operating theatre.

He spent time in SCBU then had to be ‘cooled’ at an Oxford unit so that his little body could recover. JRH docs sent Charlotte photos while she rested and her mother babysat Blossom.

Steve decided on Elijah’s name and visited him while he stayed in the baby unit, but the first time Charlotte got to see him up close was when the family of four stayed together in a special room at GWH after Elijah returned safely from Oxford.

Charlotte chose Blossom because she had always wanted to give her daughter that name and she got engaged to Steve in Japan during cherry blossom season as it’s her favourite flower.