A dying twin appears to be holding his unborn sister’s hand in this moving ultrasound image.
A Hutchinson, Kansas, family has been reeling from the news that they might lose one of their unborn twins, but they found unexpected comfort in the midst of their sadness this week, thanks to an incredibly unique ultrasound image.
Brittani and Ian McIntire learned they’re expecting twins about 6 months ago. Soon after, they got the devastating news that one of their babies likely won’t survive. Doctors say that while their daughter is growing and thriving, her fraternal brother has a large hole in his heart and abnormalities in his brain. At 27 weeks gestation, he weighs only about 9 ounces, while his sister is close to two pounds. Doctors think it’s unlikely he’ll survive the pregnancy, and if he does, he won’t live very long.
On Tuesday, the McIntire’s went in for a routine ultrasound and got a beautiful surprise. In one of their images, the twins — whose names are Mason and Madilyn — appear to be holding hands. “We didn’t really see much,” Brittani told KWCH, “But then she [the ultrasound technician] said there’s his hand and there’s her hand, and it looks like they’re holding hands.”
In the photo, Mason appears to have his tiny hand wrapped around one of Madilyn’s fingers. It’s difficult to know for sure what’s going on in the image, but either way, the McIntire’s say the stunning photo has brought them some comfort during an incredibly difficult time. “We know we have a piece of them together that will last forever,” says Ian. “It’s special to have.”
Brittani, who’s already a mom of two, says the hardest part of this pregnancy has been her inability to comfort her son. For that reason, the ultrasound image of her unborn children has brought her an overwhelming sense of peace. “I’m carrying him but I just want to be there for him,” she said. “And she’s the only one who can actually be there and holding onto him through it, so it’s comforting to know that if he does pass he won’t be alone.”
According to the American Pregnancy Association, fraternal twins always have their own amniotic sacs, so while it’s unlikely these twins can actually grab on to one another, it’s possible for them to reach out to one another and even interact. Likely, it was one of these attempts at interaction that was captured in the ultrasound image, and it’s a beautiful coincidence that they appear to be grasping at each other’s hands.
The McIntires are facing something too difficult for many people to even imagine, but it’s helpful to know they at least have an image of their babies that brings them so much comfort and peace. Brittani says her whole family is still hoping and praying for a miracle, and after seeing this stunning photo, we’re hoping right along with them.