A Christian couple from Wichita, Kansas, were heartbroken after learning that one of their unborn twins would not live to see the light of day. However, an image captured on a sonogram camera of the two babies holding hands in the womb has comforted the family and reminded them of the grace and mercy of God.
According to a report from KWCH-TV, doctors told Brittani and Ian McIntire that their unborn son, Mason, had a hole in his heart and a deformed brain, while his twin sister, Madilyn, was perfectly healthy.
"He's only weighing nine ounces and his sister is over two pounds, so big size difference," Brittani told the news outlet. "His only chance of survival would be heart surgery but they wouldn't do heart surgery on him because of his brain."
At each follow-up appointment, it was more bad news -- until Tuesday, when the doctors captured a heartwarming moment in a sonogram. The black and white image showed baby Mason with his tiny hand wrapped around Madilyn's finger.
"We didn't really see much, she said there's his hand and there's her hand and it looks like they're holding hands," Brittani said.
She added that ultrasound tech told her that her twins' interactions are unusually kind and gentle, as if they know that Mason may not live long.
"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 she was very protective over him," Brittani said.
LifeNews.com notes that ultrasounds frequently show unborn twins interacting and bonding, beginning at very early stages in the womb. Scientific studies have also found that unborn babies feel emotions like joy, anger and sadness in the womb long before they are born.
"Unlike ordinary siblings, twins share a most important environment - the uterus," reads a report from researcher Dr. Umberto Castiello of the University of Padova and associates. "If a predisposition towards social interaction is present before birth, one may expect twin foetuses to engage in some form of interaction."
While the Brittani, Ian, and their two older daughters many never get to know their brother, they find comfort in knowing that his big sister was there to comfort him throughout his short life.
"I know I'm holding him, I'm carrying him but I just want to be there for him," Brittani 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."
Ian agreed, "We know we have a piece of them together that will last forever and it's special to have."
The twins are due in September, and no matter what the outcome may be, the couple is trusting God for the future of their family.
"We kiss them to go to bed, we sing them lullabies, we pray for them," said the McIntire's daughter.
Added Brittani: "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. And if he doesn't then we have a special angel watching over us."