An Ardrossan mum has told how she feared she’d lose her twin babies after going into early labour on the remote Shetlands Islands.  

Danielle Carrigan McPhee, who is originally from Parkview in the town, was left terrified after realising her twin sons were coming seven weeks early. 

Danielle, 37, has lived in Lerwick for 10 years after moving there for work, and when she found out she was expecting twins when she was just six weeks pregnant, medics told the mum-of-three she would not be able to deliver her babies on the island. 

She said: “They said I would need to move out of Shetland around six weeks before my due date because they just don’t have the maternity facilities here for delivering twins.”

But Danielle’s prearranged labour plans were dashed when she went into premature labour on October 11 last year - seven weeks before her due date. 

Danielle, who is also mum to Sofia, eight, says doctors could not understand why she was having contractions every few minutes, but she was only 2cm dilated. 

Her worst fears were almost realised when medics revealed they were only able to hear one baby’s heartbeat. 

With no other choice, island medics decided to perform an emergency Caesarean section there and then, in a dramatic attempt to save one or both babies. 

Danielle said: “It all happened really quickly. I went into hospital at 8:30pm and one of the boys was born at 10:33pm and the second at 10:35pm. 

“With twins there is always that fear of something going wrong because it’s a higher risk pregnancy but when they said they could only hear one heartbeat and would need to deliver them there and then I was scared.

“The NHS staff were so incredible and professional and they reassured me they whole time.”

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: Delighted mum Danielle happy at home with twin boys Lucas and Evan who recently celebrated their first birthday.Delighted mum Danielle happy at home with twin boys Lucas and Evan who recently celebrated their first birthday. (Image: Danielle Carrigan McPhee)

Baby Lucas was born first weighing 4lbs 8oz followed two minutes later by brother Evan who weighed 5lbs 8oz. 

It wasn’t until the twins were born that medics discovered just how close to danger both mother and babies had been after discovering a ruptured placenta. 

However both boys were born breathing on their own and were flown to Aberdeen where they were taken by ambulance to Stirling’s Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s Neonatal Unit. 

After one week there, the babies and Danielle were then transferred to Ayrshire Maternity Unit at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock and Danielle says the care her baby boys received there was 'incredible'.

She said: "Across the NHS, at every step the care we received was second to none and when we came to Ayrshire the staff were so attentive and caring. I was able to stay with family in Ardrossan while the boys were being treated in Kilmarnock and I would go to the hospital for five hours every day. It was hard leaving them every night but I just knew they were in the best hands.The nurses and doctors made me feel so confident that they were taking good care of them."

Evan and Lucas celebrated their first birthday last week and Danielle reached ut to the AMU to thank them for making the special milestone a reality.

She said: "The care my boys received was incredible and they are now happy, healthy one-year-olds. I am so grateful to the NHS staff for being part of their journey."