When Brittany Crafton first realized she was pregnant, all seemed normal. Her first ultrasound went well, without any red flags. It wasn't until she went in for her second ultrasound that the sonographer gave her the shocking news: There were two heads in the picture, but it appeared there was only one chest and one heart. Crafton was carrying a rare set of conjoined twins!
"It's not real," the incredulous Crafton, 26, told the Augusta Chronicle, adding that she felt like she was in a movie. But after more images were produced, Crafton looked up on the screen and finally saw it: "The two babies and the one chest and the one heart beating.... That's when it got real."
Though conjoined twins are extremely rare in the U.S.—only one in about 200,000 births—Crafton decided to keep her babies together, saying it was "God's plan for them."
"Today I step into a new phase of life called Motherhood..." Crafton posted on her Facebook page Monday morning, just a few hours before she was set to deliver the twins. "The journey hasn't been easy, but it was worth it.... My little fighters will be here in a few hours and I want them to know that they have a awesome God and a great support system.... Mommy loves you two guys!!! Prayers going up!!! "ª#"Ž2smiles1heart"¬"
Chance Aiden Crafton and Chandler Kaiden Crafton—who share a heart and liver—were delivered by C-section. Officials say the twins are in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Children's Hospital of Georgia where, sadly, they remain in critical condition, according to WSBTV.
Crafton is recovering next door at the Georgia Regents Medical Center. This was the first conjoined birth for the hospital, and prior to delivery Crafton went through extensive testing to determine the health of the twins' organs, including the heart. "What is exceptional about her twins is that their shared common heart is actually pretty normal," according to Dr. Paul Browne, a maternal and fetal medicine specialist at Georgia Regents.
The boys also have clubfeet, and one has a dislocated hip. If they survive, they will have many hardships, but Crafton says she's prepared to take things as they come. "At the end of the day, when it is your child, you do what you have to do," she told the Chronicle. (Ain't that the truth!)