Premature babies who survive are tiny miracles of our modern era. Kyrie and Brielle Jackson are also examples of a long established science, that of loving touch. Born 12 weeks early, the twins were whisked into separate incubators. Kyrie, the larger at two pounds three ounces, slept peacefully. But Brielle had breathing and heart-rate problems, didn’t gain weight and fussed when anyone tried to comfort her. Finally a nurse tired a technique called “double bedding” and put the sisters together for the first time since they shared a womb. “Brielle snuggled up to Kyrie,” reports Heidi Jackson, “and she calmed right down.” With her sister near, Brielle began to thrive. Sooner than expected, the girls went home–where they now share a single crib.
Originally published in The Worchester Telegram & Gazette. Photographed by Chis Christo