Although Ian and Brittani McIntire are expecting twins, only one of the children will probably survive.
The McIntires, from Hutchinson, Kansas, already have two daughters and were originally not planning on having more children, KWCH News reports.
At Brittani’s six-week sonogram, they received an even bigger surprise when they discovered “there's one heartbeat and here's another,” Brittani told KWCH News.
However, one of the twins is not growing like he should and has a low chance of survival.
"He's only weighing nine ounces and his sister is over two pounds, so big size difference," Brittani said. "His only chance of survival would be heart surgery but they wouldn't do heart surgery on him because of his brain."
During a follow-up appointment on Feb. 16, the sonogram captured a special between the unborn twins, Mason and Madilyn.
"We didn't really see much, she said there's his hand and there's her hand and it looks like they're holding hands," Brittani said.
Mason may never be able to have a relationship with his family, so this moment caught on camera is special testament to their sibling bond.
"Most twins, when [the doctor is] trying to take pictures and stuff, they're kicking each other and hitting each other and she said with our twins it seems like she was very protective over him," Brittani said.
On the KWCH Facebook page, the compassion displayed in the photo has touched many, some of whom felt led to pray for the family.
“The love of a twin is something that is beyond comprehension and it goes so deep,” Lori Richards wrote, adding that she is an identical twin and has identical twin daughters. “ ... [O]ne of my twins is severely disabled and her twin sister is her very best friend, always checking on her, loving her and trying to help me take care of her. This story makes my heart sad but it also fills me with joy to see that kind of compassion."
Above all, the family is comforted knowing that their son is not alone during this time.
"I know I'm holding him, I'm carrying him but I just want to be there for him," Brittani told KWCH. "And she's the only one who can actually be there and holding onto him through it, so it's comforting to know that if he does pass he won't be alone."