Emma Dutton and her partner, Mark Prince, had been trying desperately for a baby. So, when they discovered she was pregnant – with twins – at the end of 2015, they were ecstatic.
At her 18 week scan, the couple, from Walsall in the UK, were told they were expecting identical twin boys. But their joy was short-lived, as the pair were led into a “little room” as soon as the scan was over.
“There was a table and chairs and a little box of tissues and I just knew we were going to hear something awful. I knew it didn’t look right,” Emma told The Mirror.
Emma and Mark were told their baby boys were showing signs of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, or TTTS, a condition that sees one twin receive a higher flow of blood from the shared placenta than the other.
The condition can be potentially fatal to both foetuses.
Just a week later, the condition had progressed and Emma was able, under a laser ablataion procedure, to operate on the twins in her womb and seal off some of the blood vessels connecting the babies.
A scan after her surgery revealed both twins - who the couple had decided to name Elijah and Oliver - were doing well. But a week later, on February 29, 2015, when Emma was 20 weeks and one day pregnant, she was told one of her twins no longer had a heartbeat.