It’s already been quite a 2013 for Natalie Foxcroft.
The 24-year-old from Roberttown, found out she was pregnant with a rare form of twins just days after being given the devastating news that she would never have children again.
Natalie, who has a two-year-old son, had already suffered four miscarriages and two ectopic pregnancies – where the baby forms outside the womb and which can prove fatal to the mother.
But on January 3 Natalie found out she was pregnant again – just two days after partner Ross Whitehead had proposed to her and she was ecstatic. “It was a wonderful start to the year,” she said. “I’d got engaged and now I’d found out I was pregnant.”
But her joy turned to heartache when she went for a scan and medical staff could not find the baby. They feared she was having another ectopic pregnancy and she underwent surgery to remove her remaining fallopian tube, ending any hopes of having any more children.
However two days later, while still recovering in hospital, the doctors told her that blood tests taken after the operation showed she still had high levels of pregnancy hormones.
“I had a scan a day later and I was very nervous, but they found a baby in my womb!” she said.
“In the space of a week I’d gone from finding out I was pregnant, to losing the baby, and then finding out the baby had survived the operation. I couldn’t believe it.”
However a week later, during a follow-up scan Natalie and Ross received an even bigger surprise - she was having twins!
“We felt a sigh of relief when the nurse showed us the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor,” said Natalie. “But we could hardly believe it when she said ‘and there’s the other one’s.’!
“We were really, really shocked, but over the moon. It was like getting two for the price of one!”
Natalie’s pregnancy is particularly rare as the twins are ‘monochorionic monoamniotic’ which means they will grow in the same amniotic sac, with no membrane separating them.
They share the same placenta but have two umbilical cords, and will be identical. Natalie’s two-year-old son, Harry, is thrilled at the prospect of being a brother.
“He goes around telling people that ‘mummy has two babies in her tummy’, so I think he understands!” she said.
“We have told Harry that he has a big job as an older brother to make sure the twins will be okay while they are growing up.
“We still have to go for fortnightly check-ups to make sure the babies are okay, but my mum told me to take each day as it comes, and I think that’s the best piece of advice.”
The twins are planned to be delivered by caesarian section at 32-weeks.
She said: “I want to thank all of mine and Ross’s families for their fantastic support – we would not have been able to get through this without them.”