THE parents of identical twins who battled huge odds to survive have marked their babies’ first six months by forging their own unbreakable bond.
Sarah and Daniel Livingstone, from Harold Close, Barton, married on September 3, at Wheatley Register Office, watched by miracle twins Megan Hope and Ruby Ann.
Megan and Ruby are monochorionic monoamniotic (momo) twins, which occurs once in 35,000 pregnancies.
They developed inside the same amniotic sac and shared a placenta within their mother’s uterus, but they also had two separate umbilical cords and were given only a 25 per cent chance of surviving.
Mrs Livingstone, 28, said: “Our twins started out in two separate sacs, but those were fused and the membrane between them broke and the twins ended up together as momo twins, making chances of their survival even smaller.
“Meanwhile, we were warned to expect the worst.”
Mrs Livingstone’s pregnancy was fraught with danger and close calls. Just a couple of months in, she suffered a suspected miscarriage.
She said: “My mum rang the hospital and was told that if it was miscarriage, I’d be referred for another scan.
“But we went and there they were: two little heartbeats still bobbing along. We were over the moon.”
Mrs Livingstone had suffered a very large bleed and was referred to the Silver Star Unit at the JR, which specialises in the care of complicated pregnancies.
“Danny and I had to keep upbeat for our other children, Josh, six, Ella, four and Tyler, two. But there was so much bad news. One twin seemed to be doing well, but the other looked so weak and did not seem to be growing.”
The Livingstone’s were advised of their options, including elective abortion of the weakest twin to give the other baby a better chance.
But they decided to let fate take its course.
“We just knew we had to let them fight on together,” said Mrs Livingstone.
At 24 weeks the couple got the news their twins had ‘moved into’ the same sac and their cords were entangled, so monitoring the blood flow to each baby was difficult.
At 29 weeks, Mrs Livingstone experienced pains and spent a week in hospital, taking steroids staving off labour.
She said: “I was booked in for a caesarean at 34 weeks, but we feared the smaller twin would not survive until then.”
On March 4, doctors carried out an emergency caesarean with warehouse night worker Daniel getting there just in time. Ruby Ann was born weighing 4lbs 5ozs and rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital’s special care baby unit (SCBU) along with Megan Hope, weighed 4lbs 13ozs.
Mrs Livingstone didn’t see her babies for another 18 hours. But six months on, both babies are thriving She added: “Danny and I have been engaged for four years but after the girls were born I said: ‘Life’s too short to wait for things, let’s get married’.
“It was a wonderful day and now our little miracle family is complete.”