Vicky Plowright thought she was going for a routine ten-week scan for her pregnancy. Doctors surprised her with the news that she’d be expecting identical twins, but the next bit of information shattered her world.
The twins shared an amniotic sac, meaning they could end up strangling each other before they were born. This disorder is extremely rare but left Plowright and her babies helpless.
“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 said.
“They still had two umbilical cords, to deliver nourishment, which could become tangled, strangling them, which was so frightening to even imagine.”
Plowright was joking with her sister earlier in the day, saying, “As long as there’s not two.” When she heard the news, she was just hoping they made it out alive.
After trying to process what she was hearing, Plowright called her fiancé, Chris Cremer. She had no idea what to do next.
“In the space of an hour I’d found out we were expecting twins, but that they could be in danger,” Plowright said. “It was torture thinking that we could lose them at any time.”
Two weeks later, Plowright visited a specialist to have another scan. What they saw at this scan was more astonishing than the rare disorder the twins experienced.
“To our astonishment, at the 12-week scan, we saw that they were cuddling each other and holding hands,” Plowright said.
“They were keeping each other alive by staying still, so their umbilical cords didn’t get tangled.
“By staying still in that position, they’d stopped the cords from becoming so badly tangled that it killed them,” Plowright explained. “It really was a miracle.”
Still, Plowright tempered her expectations. She knew the possibility of losing her twins was always hanging over her head.
Even when she found out she was having boys, Plowright didn’t celebrate. She just wanted to give birth to two healthy children.
Finally, at 32 weeks, doctors advised Plowright that she should give birth to the twins because of the limited space in her womb. On December 22, 2015, Reuben and Theo entered the world.
“Both of them came out screaming and, most importantly, they were alive,” Plowright said. “Chris was sobbing next to me, as well. We were just so happy that they’d made it.”
After a short stay in the neonatal unit, Plowright brought her sons home to join the family. Now, two years later, the boys are just as close as they were before they were born.
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