'My special baby girls'

2009-02-01 00:00

THE young mother who gave birth to conjoined twins last year has no identity document, so she cannot access child support grants from the government yet, but she has great dreams for the future of her special children.

Busi Ngubane (18) from the Mpumuza area in Pietermaritzburg gave her first media interview to The Witness last week, three months after she gave birth to her rare twins, named Amazing and Holy.

“To me they are normal babies. They cry, they eat, they want to be held and not left in their crib.” She said they love listening to the music she plays them, and hearing her phone ring.

“They know the time too. They love their bath and if I am late bathing them, they cry. They do exactly what other babies their age do. But they are so special, and I love my baby girls,” said Ngubane, looking tenderly down at her babies as they lie in their makeshift crib.

Ngubane recalled how the shock she first felt when she heard she was carrying conjoined babies gave way to acceptance and then an all- encompassing love for her little girls.

She said she could not believe it when doctors first told her that she was carrying the rare twins. “I was speechless and I thought God would never do that to me.” She said doctors advised her to terminate the pregnancy, but she refused.

“They thought I was crazy and wanted me to see a psychologist. But I’m not crazy,” she laughs. “I believe that God would never give me something that was so hard, I could not manage.”

On November 12, 2008, Ngubane gave birth to the girls at the Albert Luthuli hospital in Durban. “I was amazed,” she said, playing with the little girls’ hands as they lay staring wide-eyed up at their mother, an occasional smile fluttering across their little faces.

The babies are girls, each with their own pair of arms. They are joined at the chest and share a pair of legs. Facing each other in the crib, the little girls look at each other, their hands touching at times.

Ngubane said they have different hearts, but they share a pair of lungs, a liver, and kidneys. Doctors have confirmed that they can never be separated.

Although Ngubane has the support of her parents and the twins’ paternal grandparents, she will need a lot of help to raise the girls, who will need specialised treatment and care.

“My boyfriend does not have a permanent job, but his family is doing everything they can to help take care of the babies.”

Ngubane and the babies were transferred to Grey’s Hospital after birth where they were monitored before being discharged. Now they stay with her mother and grandmother in Mpumuza.

Ngubane does not have a pram for the twins, but carries them in her arms whenever she goes to clinic or town.

Normal clothes do not fit the twins, but she showed The Witness how she has designed and sewed a special outfit for them. “I buy two different shirts and cut them and then sew them together to fit”.

Ngubane had to leave school in grade 11 after she fell pregnant and is currently studying to write her matric exams.

Before she fell pregnant, she had dreams of becoming a model. “But having the twins has made me put on weight,” she smiles.

Ngubane acknowledges that raising the twins will be a challenge and has said she welcomes any assistance.

Her immediate need now is getting Home Affairs to fast- track her identity document, which she has applied for, and accessing a child grant as soon as she can.

Some of the people involved in the twins’ lives were reluctant to go public, but Ngubane explained why she felt it was necessary. “I decided to speak out to The Witness now, for the sake of my babies. It’s not about me or anyone else, it’s about their welfare and future. I have big dreams for their future. I hope that Holy and Amazing will achieve great things.”

Anyone wanting to assist the baby girls should contact the news editor at newsed@witness.co.za or 033 355 1127.

sandilez@witness.co.za

stephs@witness.co.za

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