Colorado Missing Mom's one-year-old daughter Kaylee sent to the custody of her Maternal Grandparents.Representational image of a mother holding the foot of her newborn baby at the hospital in Nantes, western France, July 7, 2018 LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

A mother of triplets carried two dead children to full term to keep the third child alive. The two children died just 16 weeks into her pregnancy but she could not get them removed as the third one was growing healthily.

Bernadette Murphy’s two children suffered from a rare condition called twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). The condition caused deadly problems with the placenta. Post the death of her two children, Joseph and Niall, she was warned that her third child too could suffer the same fate but she continued taking antibiotics to prevent an infection. She gave birth to James in 2014.

“It never felt strange carrying all three of them – it was a comfort even though Joseph and Niall had passed – it was when I gave birth that I felt worse. When they were born, the realization they were no longer with me really hit me. When I was carrying them it felt like I was protecting them the whole time. I just wanted to have them at home with me,” Murphy told Daily Mail.

The syndrome occurs when two babies share the same placenta and there is an abnormal blood supply to them. James, however, survived because he had his own placenta and hence his blood supply wasn’t affected.

“In my first scan, doctors thought I was having twins and later realized that it was triplets. I was so happy and at first, everything seemed to be fine but my consultant warned me it could be a very complicated pregnancy. Within the first three months I was in and out of hospital due to severe sickness and excessive bleeding, carrying three babies. I attended my 12 week scan where there was a concern with the growth of Niall compared to his identical twin Joseph. I went for weekly scans in order for my consultant to monitor the twins,” she said.

After 15 weeks, doctors informed her that she might have TTTS and told her to undergo tests.

“When I went for my 16 week scan I explained I had experienced cramps down my left side and some kicking motions since my previous scan. I knew something was not right, I remember the consultant grabbing my hand and I was told the twins had passed away. I was by myself and I remember just wanting my family to be with me. I immediately asked if James was okay and was told that he was developing well but there could be potential complications down the line,” she said.

She was then warned that her third baby could also die, but she carried him to 37 weeks.

“Joseph was fully formed but Niall had been partially absorbed into the placenta but I was just so happy that I got a chance to see them,” she said.

TTTS is a rare condition that happens when twins share a placenta and abnormal blood vessel connections too form, preventing blood from flowing evenly between the fetuses. While one twin becomes dehydrated, the other produces too much urine. This results in enlargement of the bladder that eventually leads to heart failure.