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High-risk preemie twins meet for the first time outside womb, immediately hug

These Australian twins were born at 29 weeks gestation but didn't meet until 27 days later. And this is the first thing that happened.
/ Source: TODAY

Throughout her high-risk pregnancy, Ann Le worried about a heartbreaking outcome.

Le was carrying mono-chorionic mono-amniotic twins (known as "momo" twins) who shared an amniotic sac and placenta. So when her daughters, Olivia and Zoe, met in the NICU recently for the first time since their premature birth, the Australian mom was overcome with emotion.

Ann Le gave birth to mono-chorionic mono-amniotic twin daughters in January 2019. The pair was recently reunited in the hospital NICU for the first time since their delivery.Ann Le

"My heart just instantly melted," Le, who shared a now viral photo of her babies hugging at their initial meeting on her Instagram account, told TODAY Parents. "After all the difficult weeks of keeping them apart, I was so relieved they could be reunited and had an ingrained bond."

Le and her husband, Jason Poon, welcomed their daughters into the world in January 2019 at 29 weeks gestation, after the twins' heart rates became erratic causing the need for an emergency cesarean section. The girls weighed just over two pounds each, and were immediately rushed to the NICU for treatment, where they remained separate for 27 days.

Le says her daughters, Zoe and Olivia, behave like "typical siblings," occasionally irritating one another but also enjoying nap time snuggles.Ann Le

On February 22, the twins were reunited in the hospital, and had no trouble rekindling their bond.

"Olivia was placed on my chest first, followed by Zoe who reached out her left arm in preparation to hug her sister," Le recalled. "They both just laid on my chest and snuggled up to each other for a while. Everything was perfect — we finally felt like a family."

Olivia and Zoe continue to improve in the NICU. Although Le and Poon were hoping to bring their daughters home from the hospital in April, close to Le's original due date, they recently learned both girls will need heart surgery, something that may delay their home going.

Still, Le says she is grateful for her daughters' lives.

Ann Le and Jason Poon with their twin daughters.Ann Le

"I remember our doctor explaining the twins were sharing one sac and one placenta, meaning they were not only fighting for space, they were fighting for food," said Le. "She then went on to explain it was a very high-risk pregnancy and our chances of getting through the pregnancy were not looking great. I remember bursting into tears and feeling like we'd already lost our babies."

Today, Le says her daughters appear to be typical siblings.

"Sometimes they love each other and are happy to enjoy an afternoon nap, and other times they just irritate each other and end up pushing each other away," said Le. "It's quite hilarious to see."