HIGHLAND COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The unfortunate probability surrounding a Tri-State couple came true on Monday as their two newborns passed away just a few hours after birth.
Michelle and Vincent Antinore were told by doctors last month the twins they were expecting probably wouldn’t make it.
The couple went ahead with the high-risk pregnancy despite the unfortunate beliefs of doctors.
On Monday, the couple told FOX19 Now the twins, Reese and Brynlee, were born a few minutes after 11:30 a.m.
Less than two hours later, the couple says the newborns passed away in the arms of their mother.
“As hard as this is, and it is hard, we are truly grateful for the time God gave us with them,” Vincent said to FOX19 Now.
In August, the couple explained what made this pregnancy unique and improbable.
“According to science, they should not be alive,” Michelle told FOX19 NOW Friday. “Everyone’s been surprised that we’ve made it to this point.”
Michelle is a nurse and Vincent is a detective for the Highland County Sheriff’s Office.
They were facing something most couples never will.
“Given the circumstances, the rarity, not having anybody to turn to who’s dealt with this before,” Michelle said, “it makes it almost unbearable at times.”
Michelle recalls going with Vincent to get an ultrasound in May. She says the tech got teary-eyed and told them to call their doctor.
“It was terrifying,” she said. “They sort of walked us about. I didn’t know what it could be, but I knew it was really bad.”
For four days the couple tried not to speculate about what the tech saw in the ultrasound.
Then a specialist in Dayton told them they were expecting conjoined twins.
“There’s two heads, two sets of arms that connect under the armpits, two hearts, two stomachs, but there’s only one lower. half,” Michelle said.
“It’s unique,” explained Jeff Berry, MD, the couple’s primary care physician in Hillsboro. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Berry says traditionally just one in 500,000 pregnancies result in conjoined twins, but that most don’t make it as far along as Michelle’s.
The couple says their specialist in Dayton didn’t think the babies would make it.
“He didn’t expect (their) heartbeat to still be beating by that weekend,” Michelle said.
They say the doctor recommended they consider terminating the pregnancy.
“We never thought in our lives that we would face that kind of decision,” Vincent said.
The couple went to a clinic but said they quickly left. They said they felt God speak to them, telling them to see the high-risk pregnancy through.
“When we got in the car, it was the first time we could take a breath,” Michelle said. “It was like God told us, this isn’t going to be an easy journey, but this is the journey.”
Doctors have told the couple there was a good chance their babies would be stillborn.
“Although we know they could not survive, or their chance of survival after birth is not great, we are thankful to have this time for them to grow and feel them move,” Michelle said, “to watch them on the ultrasounds and to get the pictures. We are lucky to have this time to prepare the best we can for whatever happens afterwards.”
A friend created a GoFundMe for to help cover the couple’s medical expenses.