A mother had no idea her twin daughters would be born conjoined has now been forced to decide whether she wants her babies separated, despite knowing that it may kill one or both of them.
Taslima Khatun Uno, of North Bangladesh, said she didn't even know she was pregnant with twins before she gave birth in July.
"The doctors shouted, 'Two babies! Give them medicine, we have to save their lives,'" Khatun Uno recalled, knowing nothing more than the fact that one of her babies may not have been healthy.
"The whole night, I heard two crying sounds," she recalled.
It was her husband, Mohammed Rafiqul Islam, who met the twins first.
"The doctors told me, 'Here are your twins, they are conjoined from the head,'" Rafiqul Islam said. "I had never seen babies like this and I was nervous."
According to Barcroft Media, Khatun Uno had experienced a healthy pregnancy and ultrasounds revealed no abnormalities until her second to last month of pregnancy, where doctors told her the baby's head was growing bigger than the body.
Doctors gave her medicine for the condition. Khatun Uno said they didn't even consider she might have been carrying twins, joined at the head.
Although Khatun Uno told her husband that her daughters, Rabia and Rukia, are beautiful despite their rare condition, "for their future it’s necessary to separate the girls — they are not having a healthy life."
But according to their pediatric surgeon, Rohu Rahim, "this is not like any other surgery. It is a difficult and complicated operation and will be a team effort."
He said it is possible for both the babies to die in the process, or one to die and one to live.
"We are asking the government to help us," Rafiqul Islam said. "Surgery will be costly and it's not possible for us to bear this cost."
The family now has two years to come up with a plan and the money, but for now, the concerned mother said: "I pray to God that both my babies should stay alive after surgery and they can lead beautiful lives."