Mother, 27, had to carry baby that died in the womb for FIVE WEEKS before giving birth to his twin brother'It was so hard to get excited because I was so upset about losing Bailey'
13:23 GMT, 25 May 2012
Vicky with her son Connor aged 21 weeks. Doctors told her she could lose both twins but Connor survived
A mother-to-be who feared losing both her twins has told how she had to carry one in her womb for five weeks after it died to save the life of the other.
Vicky Campbell, 27, suffered from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome which caused one of her unborn babies to take in too many nutrients in the womb – starving his brother.
Doctors warned both babies could die – with bigger baby Bailey growing too fast and tiny Connor being too small and weak as a result of the rare condition.
They performed two risky operations to separate the twins, which resulted in Bailey's death at 22 weeks.
Connor immediately began gaining strength and was born by Caesarean section at 27 weeks – the death of his bigger brother having saved his life.
However, Vicky then went through the harrowing experience of giving birth to one live and one dead baby.
The community carer from Helston, Cornwall, said: 'Bailey died to save his brother.
'As soon as he passed away, Connor was able to develop and grow strong, he finally had the blood and nutrients to survive.
'He is our little miracle. I will never let him forget how his big brother saved his life and is now his angel.'
Vicky and husband Aiden Campbell, 26, an aircraft mechanic in the Royal Navy, were thrilled when she became pregnant in July last year.
But she began to bleed in September and was rushed to an emergency scan at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske, Cornwall – which showed she was expecting identical twins.
A second routine scan two weeks later, on September 26, revealed the devastating news that she had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.
The condition, affecting one in 1,300 twin pregnancies, is a disease of the placenta where one twin takes in too many nutrients by receiving most of the blood supply from the placenta – starving the other.
An ultrasound of Vicky Campbell's twins in November last year. The larger twin Bailey (on the right) perished in the womb but Vicky had to carry him to save Connor
Connor was born by caesarean section at 27 weeks
There was a fluid discrepancy between Vicky's babies, with Bailey taking up more nutrients than his younger brother.
The problem became so bad that Vicky was forced to undergo laser treatment at St Michael's Hospital in Bristol on October 21, when she was 18 weeks pregnant.
Vicky, who also has a son Sonni, six, added: 'We were given three options. The first was to terminate both twins, which we said 'no' straight away to.
'We were then offered the laser surgery, which had a 40 per cent chance one would survive, 30 per cent chance that both would and a 30 per cent chance that both would die.
'The third option was to leave it but there was an 85 per cent chance both would die and I would miscarry. We chose to take the laser option.'
Incredibly, both babies survived the first procedure, in which doctors inserted a metal rod into Vicky's womb and used lasers to cut blood vessels between the twins.
Vicky with her son Sonnie when she was pregnant with the twins (left) and today with Connor (right). She said: 'Bailey died to save his brother'
Vicky and Aiden Campbell with their son. They don't know if Connor will have any healthy problems as a result of his early birth
Vicky and Aiden, who moved from Scotland to Cornwall four years ago, married on November 5, with Vicky feeling the effects of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.
A scan two days after their wedding showed Connor had no fluid around him and was 'shrink wrapped' in his sac, while Bailey had lots with his heart overloading to keep up with it.
Doctors made the decision to repeat the laser procedure for a second time but had to choose one twin to give more access to the placenta.
Vicky began experiencing excruciating pains after the laser treatment and the next day doctors broke the devastating news that Bailey had died.
She said: 'Words just cannot describe how horrendous it was when Bailey passed away, it was the worst day of my life.
'The doctors said there was a chance both babies would die but nothing can prepare you for it when it happens.
'I would wake up some mornings and just think 'I can't do this'. I had to stay strong for Connor but it was just so hard.
'Because I was so used to Bailey moving and not Connor I just had a massive dead weight in me.
'Connor started producing fluid for the first time and a bladder appeared for the first time too but it was so hard to get excited because I was so upset about losing Bailey.
'I don't know how I would have got through without Aiden and Sonni, they were fantastic.'
Vicky and Aiden Campbell moments after Vicky gave birth on the 27th December
Intensive care: Connor moments after he was born
Vicky continued to carry both babies before giving birth to both by Caesarean section at 4.30am on December 31 at Southampton General Hospital.
The twins were in separate sacs so were sterile from each other.
She added: 'I was ten centimetres dilated and the nurse said she could feel feet of one moving baby and the hands of one that wasn't moving.
'It was horrendous carrying both of them. Every time Connor moved Bailey moved as well and I kept thinking that maybe he might be alive still.'
Connor, weighing 1lb 14 oz, was rushed into intensive care while Bailey, who weighed just 210g, was taken to meet Vicky and Aiden.
Doctors gave Connor a 70 per cent chance of survival but he battled through three months of intensive care and was allowed home on oxygen on March 26, four days before his due date.
Now five months old, he weighs 8lb 11oz. It is not clear whether he will suffer any long term health implications.