'They came out screaming the place down' - Antrim couple welcome conjoined twins

Annabelle and Isabelle were born in March via C-Section
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.14 17 May 2022

Share this article

'They came out screaming the p...

'They came out screaming the place down' - Antrim couple welcome conjoined twins

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

20.14 17 May 2022

Share this article

The mother of conjoined twins says her girls are 'very much determined' to be here.

Hannah and Dan Bateson - from Toomebridge, Co Antrim - welcomed Annabelle and Isabelle in March.

They were born via C-Section at University College London Hospital, and were transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.


The girls are joined from the chest to the pelvis and share a liver, bladder and bowel.

Hannah told Moncrieff they were so happy their girls were healthy.

"Our big concern was we fully expected to have very, very sick babies when they were born.

"There was teams prepared for ventilation.... that they might not be able to breathe on their own.

"Our big prayer was that they would be born crying, and both girls came out with heads of black hair and screaming the place down.

Annabelle and Isabelle Annabelle and Isabelle. Picture by: Facebook/Bateson Conjoined Twins

"So I think that just sort of set the tone then for - again - their determination.

"We just keep talking about our wee miracles and just how determined [they are].

"Whatever it is they're really, very much determined to be here".

The family will travel back to London shortly for more planning for their separation surgery.

"We actually have a lot of that still to do, we're due to go back over shortly actually back to London - to Great Ormond Street - for a lot more detailed imaging.

"So that the surgeons then can plan as far as they can. I think a lot will be just be discovered during the surgery".

Hannah Bateson is pictured with Annabelle and Isabelle Hannah Bateson is pictured with Annabelle and Isabelle. Picture by:

Hannah says they knew early on that this wasn't a regular pregnancy.

"We found out things weren't quite normal at the very first, beginning scan.

"At that point they didn't tell is, I think they suspected, but they didn't tell us anything.

"And it was a week later when we were referred to fetal medicine that we were told that the girls were conjoined."

'Fighting hard'

She says they had very little information at that point.

"That was here in Belfast, that appointment, within a week we had a referral and we were over in London at UCLH.

"And it was at that point that we got a little bit more information about the extent of how the girls were conjoined - that they were joined from the chest to the pelvis.

"And really the information didn't change hugely throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

"The sort of common phrase that was used throughout was 'We'll not know anymore till the girls are born'".

Hannah says the news changed the whole tone of her pregnancy.

"You couldn't do the normal parenting research and preparation.

"There was so little we felt like we could do to prepare for the girls coming.

"We kind of felt in limbo... the word we did use quite often was 'in limbo' - we knew so little".

But she says the girls were fighters, even in the womb.

"They were real characters and... I think it just showed the level of fight that they had.

"Even during scans, they were great ones for kicking the ultrasound machine - they were very, very lively babies from the get go.

"It was lovely to see that they were fighting hard, they seemed to have so much spirit.

"I suppose in a wee way it was reassuring to us; even though medically-speaking we didn't have a huge amount of hope given to us.

"That sign of real life and real determination sort of kept us going".

'They came out screaming the place down' - Antrim couple welcome conjoined twins

00:00:00 / 00:00:00


Main image: Annabelle and Isabelle Bateson. Picture by:

Share this article

Read more about

Annabelle And Isabelle Antrim Co Antrim Conjoined Twins Great Ormond Street Hospital Hannah And Dan Bateson Hannah Bateson Moncrieff Toomebridge University College London Hospital

Most Popular