Sonogram Shows Twins Holding Hands as One Slips Away

These babies prove twins have a special bond from the start, even if their story doesn't have a happy ending.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Feb 2016
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Photo: iStock

Understandably, Ian and Brittani McIntire are having a hard time coping with the news that one of their unborn twins probably isn’t going to make it. But they’re finding comfort in the fact that the babies seem to be comforting one another.

The Hutchinson, Kansas, couple already has two children, and the twins were a happy surprise. But that surprise turned to heartbreak when they learned the boy twin, baby Mason, had a hole in his heart and brain abnormalities.

“He’s only weighing 9 ounces and his sister is over 2 pounds, so big size difference. His only chance of survival would be heart surgery, but they wouldn’t do surgery on him because of his brain,” Brittani tells local news station KWCH. “It was really hard to hear.”

Most of Brittani’s doctors appointments have involved information that was hard to hear. But Tuesday’s ultrasound brought something different.

“We didn’t really see much. She (the doctor) said there’s his hand, and there’s her hand, and it looks like they’re holding hands,” Brittani says.

Sure enough, Mason appears to be gripping his sister Madilyn’s finger.

“Most twins, when you take pictures of them, are kicking each other and hitting each other. She (the doctor) said it seems like she was very protective over him,” Brittani says.

Research shows twins certainly do gravitate towards one another in the womb, regardless of gender or whether or not they’re identical. Researchers at the University of Turin and the University of Parma in Italy used a technique called ultrasonography to track the movements of five pairs of twins in utero—two sets of girls, two sets of boys, and a boy and a girl. What they discovered held true across the board: By 14 weeks gestation, twins begin reaching towards one another. And by week 18, they’re spending more time contacting their sibling than reaching for the uterine walls or touching themselves. Researchers say the nature of these movements indicates they’re deliberate, and not just the result of being in such close quarters.

“I’m carrying him, but I just want to be there for him…and she (Madilyn) is the only one who can actually be there and holding onto him through it,” Brittani says. “It’s comforting to know that if he does pass he won’t be alone.”

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