AMIE Rohan was 11 weeks pregnant with identical twins when she received the news every expectant mother dreads.
One of her babies, who Mrs Rohan has nicknamed “Baby B”, has anencephaly, a fatal neural tube defect with no cure.
Anencephaly affects the development of a foetus’s brain, skull and scalp, and sadly these babies usually die during birth or soon afterwards.
Doctors believe it can sometimes be caused by a lack of folic acid in the mother, but often there is no logical explanation.
“Our lives changed completely,” Mrs Rohan, 24, the wife of Sydney Swans star Gary Rohan, 26, told news.com.au of the diagnosis.
“As someone who doesn’t know how to read an ultrasound, both babies looked practically identical to me, but the technician said ‘I’m not happy with the way the baby’s head is forming’,” Mrs Rohan said.
“Then our obstetrician said ‘Baby B had a condition that was not compatible with life’.
The days immediately after receiving the news were the “hardest I’ve ever had,” Mrs Rohan said.
“There’s nothing harder than telling the people you love that one of your babies won’t survive,” she said.
“We had to sit down and tell my sister and my brother, whose partner is also currently pregnant … that was very difficult and very emotional.”
The next big hurdle was deciding how to proceed with the pregnancy.
Unlike fraternal twins who have separate placentas, identical twins like Mrs Rohan’s share a placenta.
“Baby B is alive and it can grow to a full term but with twins with anencephaly, most parents don’t carry to full term. They choose to abort,” she said.
“If I had fraternal twins, you could terminate the pregnancy. But for me, whatever you do to one affects the other.
“Our specialist gave us all the options, but I said this is the journey I’ve been given and this is the situation I’ve been put in and I’m more than happy to carry the baby to full term.
“He said that choice is very common, and he’s delivered many pregnancies like ours.”