After a 13-month wait, a mother is finally able to hold her son in a heart-wrenching story of twin boys born conjoined at the crown of their heads.
Thanks to a 27-hour surgery on October 13, doctors successfully separated twins Jadon and Anias in the incredibly rare operation.
The boys were born "craniopagus twins", something that only happens once in 2.5 million births.
In preparation for the US$2.5 million surgery, doctors placed expanding tissues in their heads months before in order to stretch their skin.
Before the surgery, Nicole McDonald said that she wanted nothing more than to hold each of her sons.
"There's nothing harder than watching your child cry and not being able to pick them up," she said. "To hear them cry and react to it in a motherly way is something I'm really excited for."
So when she got the chance, once her sons started their recovery after the incredibly intense surgery, she was overjoyed at the prospect of finally being able to "rock" Jadon.
"For over 13 months, I've dreamed of this moment," McDonald wrote on Facebook.
"I looked down at Jadon's angelic face and saw him in a way I'd never seen him before. He whimpered for almost the whole two hours I held him because he had just been extubated, had the area under his scalp washed out and had been weaned from the good pain meds.
"But instead of wrapping my body around him in his bed, I wrapped my arms around him and rocked. One of the most profound moments of my life."
She also posted a lengthy thank you note to all the hospital staff who were involved in her twins' case.
"As absolutely humbled as I am for all of the encouraging messages I've received, it's hard for me to take any credit for the miracle that these boys are. All I did was birth beautiful, unique children and love them with all I have. There are mothers everywhere who do that on a daily basis," she wrote.
"I'd like to direct the attention back to the true heroes of our story."
McDonald has not been able to hold her other son, Anias, whose progress is said to be slower.
The family had started a GoFundMe page with an initial fundraisng goal of $100,000 before the operation, but have now raised $286,472.
Since exceeding their goal they have requested that anyone wishing to donate instead gives their money to a friend whose baby is in need of a kidney transplant.