A set of identical twins keep each other alive by holding hands in the womb
Hayley Lampshire, 27, from Kidlington, Oxfordshire, was horrified when she discovered her twins were suffering from a rare condition meaning they shared one amniotic sac, instead of having one each.
And terrifyingly, if the babies moved around in the womb, doctors warned their umbilical cords could become tangled – starving them, or even STRANGLING each other.
The only way they would survive the pregnancy was if they both stayed still.
Rowan and Blake both weighed four pounds when they were born
The only way the twins would survive the pregnancy was if they both stayed still
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Charlie and I were terrified at first, but we want to share our story to reassure others that there is hope, something that we struggled to find when doing our own research
But she was amazed when she went for a scan – and saw her two boys CUDDLING each other – and even appeared to be holding hands.
At every scan, Mrs Lampshire was amazed to see her twins holding on to each other.
And when they were born by caesarian section on August 25, Rowan and Blake both weighed four pounds – and haven't stopped cuddling each other ever since.
Mrs Lampshire, a primary school teacher, said: "My husband, Charlie, and I were heartbroken when we found out our babies were in danger.
The two boys haven't separated from each other since birth
"Because the boys were in the same amniotic sac their cords could get tangled if they moved around, which would cut off their oxygen and food supply.
"If that did happen then it would be likely that we wouldn't know, we couldn't do anything to prevent it which was the scariest part.
"They needed to keep still in order to keep one another alive and in some pictures they even look like they're cuddling.
"We were relieved when the boys were finally delivered by C-section and they are now both doing really well.
At every scan, Mrs Lampshire was amazed to see her twins holding on to each other
"Charlie and I were terrified at first, but we want to share our story to reassure others that there is hope, something that we struggled to find when doing our own research.
"So for they have been good at sharing, after all it saved their lives, but I'm sure it will be a different story when they get older."
The Lampshires married in 2015 and were thrilled to find out Mrs Lampshire was pregnant a few months later.
She added: "At our 12 week scan we found out that we were having twins, which left us completely in shock as we had no idea how we were going to cope with two babies.
"But at that same scan we were told our pregnancy was going to be high risk and a week later we were sent to a specialist who confirmed I was carrying Monoamniotic-Monochorionic twins.
The Lampshires found out they were due twins just months after their wedding in 2015
"We were told that a selective termination would be a very last resort but we tried not to think about it."
In most pregnancies the risk factor decreases after 12 weeks, however Mrs Lampshire's risk of losing her babies increased as they grew bigger.
"As the babies got bigger there was more of a chance of their cords becoming tangled.
"The percentage of Mo-Mo twins surviving has now increased a little thanks to amazing medical advances, but of course this didn't stop us worrying.
"I was booked in for a C-section at 34 weeks as the doctors didn't want to risk them getting any bigger, I was huge at this point.
The risk factor of the twins dying increased as they grew bigger
"The boys were born 36 seconds apart, Rowan weighed 4lb 10oz and Blake weighed 4lb 8oz, and were taken straight to special care.
"They had fluid on their lungs and were struggling to breathe on their own.
"I was discharged three days later, but the boys had to stay in the hospital for three weeks before we could finally bring them home and leaving them there was the hardest part.
"But the boys are now doing really well and are growing so fast, and Charlie and I know how lucky we are to have them both here.
"When they get older we will tell them how special their bond is."
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