Proud parents Nardy Mejias, 37, and dad Enzo Lattanzio, 48, found out Hannah and Rachel Lattanzio had an extra chromosome three weeks after she gave birth. They say their life has been enriched by the little girls, who have changed their perspective on the world.
But the mum-of-five said she wouldn’t change the now 18-month-old babies for the world and would recommend them to anyone. ‘They are a blessing to our family,’ said Nardy. ‘So far raising twins has been hard, like harder than running a marathon but caring for our twins brings us great joy.’ Nardy, who is currently pregnant with a baby girl, gave birth to the pair by C-section, but said nothing was abnormal.
The family were initially shocked by the news as they did not know anything about Down’s Syndrome. Nardy said: ‘It was a little bit hard at first but we overcame the situation. ‘It took a few months to adjust to the news.’
The couple from Basingstoke, in Hampshire, have vowed to treat their little ones no different and the contented twins have already been snapped up by modelling agency, Zebedee Management.
The cute pair are learning sign language, and their bilingual parents are talking to them in English, Spanish and Italian. Many babies with Down’s Syndrome suffer from health problems in the womb, but Nardy’s pregnancy was entirely normal. She has encouraged anyone pregnant with a baby with Down’s Syndrome to seek out information about the condition, and to ‘give the opportunity to love and life’ rather than having an abortion. The girls were born with ‘glue ear’ – a condition which is common in children with Down’s Syndrome – so now have hearing aids.
The twins are starting to babble and Nardy teaches them to communicate using Makaton – which uses images and symbols to teach sign language. Hannah and Rachel have learning difficulties, but Nardy and Enzo plan to send them to a mainstream school.
Older siblings Matthew, aged six, Rebecca, aged five, and Sarah, aged three, are lovingly teaching the toddlers and helping them to learn new skills.
Nardy added: ‘I would recommend them to anyone. ‘You never know how your life is going to change and enrich your life, rather than the way you were expecting. ‘If I had found out during the pregnancy, I would have been worried. ‘But if the baby is healthy, you do not need to worry about it. ‘We did not know about Down’s Syndrome in the beginning, and I’d only met one child with the condition before. ‘It’s okay to be different, we all have something to bring to the world we just need love, care and the same opportunities afforded to everyone else.’
READ MORE: metro.co.uk