A pair of identical twins saved each other life by hugging in the womb.
The 30-year-old mother, Vicky Plowright, was told that the twins were monoamniotic, meaning they shared one amniotic sac (a bag of fluid inside a woman’s womb where the unborn baby develops and grows). According to Independent, the mother was informed of the condition at her 10-week scan.
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The problem with this condition was that their umbilical cords could get tangled, shutting off their oxygen supply and thereby killing them both.
Plowright from Godalming, England said: “I was with my sister, Georgina, and we were told the twins were monoamniotic, or Mo-Mo (Monoamniotic-Monochorionic), twins. This is very rare, affecting between one in 35,000 and one in 60,000 twins in the UK, and means they shared one amniotic sac, instead of having one each.
A scan has showed how Identical twins saved each other’s life by hugging themselves in the womb…. https://t.co/Bu131e6LEF
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“I was devastated, as doctors explained it also meant the babies were at extremely high risk—around 50 percent—of not surviving the pregnancy, because of their close proximity,” Plowright told the Independent.
The mother and her fiancé, Chris Cremer, 32, both work as a nursery nurses. She was accompanied by her sister who thought it would be a routine checkup, hoping to simply update Cremer, when they got the sinking news.
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“I was in total shock, as I’d just been saying to my sister ‘as long as there’s not two,’ as we already have a daughter, Jocelyn, 4, and I didn’t think we had the space or energy for two more,” she said.
The sonographer then told them the twins were very close.
After an internal scan, doctors ruled out the twins being conjoined, but they were still concerned.
“The scan seemed to show our twins were sharing the same amniotic sac,” Plowright continued. “They said it meant the babies were at high risk and we needed to go back as soon as possible to see a specialist.
“I was hysterical and rang Chris in a total state. I had no idea what this would mean,” she said.
“In the space of an hour I’d found out we were expecting twins, but that they could be in danger. It was torture, thinking that we could lose them at any time,” Plowright added.
The news, apparently, changed soon. When she went for a scan at her 2-week, the mother and her fiancé saw something magical.
“To our astonishment, at the 12-week scan, we saw that they were cuddling each other and holding hands,” Plowright recalled. “They were keeping each other alive by staying still, so their umbilical cords didn’t get tangled.”
Doctors used to examine the mother every one to two weeks, until week 32 when she was advised to give birth because of the limited womb space.
Identical twins cheated death in the womb by hugging each other https://t.co/V9507trJzC
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“By staying still in that position, they’d stopped the cords from becoming so badly tangled that it killed them,” Plowright said. “It really was a miracle.”
She was taken to the delivery room at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guilford, on Dec. 22, 2015. Even her fiance Chris was by her side, for a cesarean. Reuben arrived at 11.22 a.m. weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces, followed by his identical twin brother, Theo, just one minute later, weighing 3 pounds, 7 ounces, the Independent reported.
“Both of them came out screaming and, most importantly, they were alive,” Plowright recalled.
“Chris was sobbing next to me, as well. We were just so happy that they’d made it.”
For about another month, the twins were kept in the neo-natal unit before being discharged at the end of January. Now, aged 22 months, they could not be closer.
“They are the best of friends,” Plowright told the Independent. “Before they even knew the world, they knew each other, and grew together in such a small space that I knew they would have a special bond for the rest of their lives.
“Reuben is the ‘do-er’ and Theo the ‘thinker,’ but they always have an eye on where the other one is,” she said.