Kansas family Ian and Brittani McIntire were heartbroken when doctors told them that one of their unborn twins probably will die before he is born.
Baby Mason McIntire has a hole in his heart and an abnormal brain. But the family said they are clinging to the knowledge that Mason is not alone in the womb. His unborn twin sister, Madilyn, is there to comfort him.
On Tuesday, the family shared with their local news station a heartbreaking ultrasound image of baby Mason’s tiny hand clinging onto his sister’s fingers.
Brittani said the ultrasound tech told her that her twins’ interactions are unusually kind and gentle, as if they know that Mason may not live long. It could very well be true. Scientific studies have found that unborn babies feel emotions like joy, anger and sadness in the womb long before they are born.
“Most twins, when she’s trying to take pictures and stuff, they’re kicking each other and hitting each other, and she said with our twins it seems like [Madilyn] was very protective over him,” the mother said.
“I know I’m holding him, I’m carrying him but I just want to be there for him,” she continued. “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.”
The Hutchinson, Kansas family said they planned to stop having children after their two older daughters were born, but then they discovered they were pregnant with twins. The McIntires said they were surprised and happy to learn the unexpected news.
Bad news came a few weeks later when doctors noticed that Mason was not growing at the same rate as Madilyn, according to the report. Doctors later discovered a hole in his heart and brain abnormalities, the report states.
“He’s only weighing nine ounces and his sister is over two pounds, so big size difference,” Brittani said. “His only chance of survival would be heart surgery but they wouldn’t do heart surgery on him because of his brain.”
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The family said they are praying for healing for Mason, but they also are trusting God, no matter what happens.
“We know we have a piece of them together that will last forever and it’s special to have,” Ian said.
“We’re still going to trust in God that no matter what, he’s been a blessing and if he makes it then it’s a huge testimony to what God can do,” Brittany added. “And if he doesn’t then we have a special angel watching over us.”
Ultrasounds frequently show unborn twins interacting and bonding, beginning at very early stages in the womb. But the touching ultrasound photo that captured the McIntire twins holding hands is a memory the family will treasure for a lifetime.