A couple are celebrating the arrival of their very own little miracle.
Arlene McGlynn was devastated when she was told the baby was growing outside the womb.
She was rushed to hospital where surgeons operated to end the ectopic pregancy.
But six weeks later she was still feeling unwell ... and a scan revealed a second baby growing normally.
Now Arlene and husband Martyn (33) are the proud parents of little Penny, a sister for two-year-old Molly.
Arlene told The Falkirk Herald she knew something was wrong as soon as she discovered she was pregnant
The 34-year-old said: “I was having severe pains so I phoned NHS 24 and we were then sent to hospital in Stirling.
“I had a scan there but they couldn’t see anything.
“They then took my blood every two days to check the HCG levels.
‘‘I was told that, if they doubled, I was pregnant and if they fell I wasn’t – but in my case the results were all over the place.
“They couldn’t decide whether I was having an ectopic pregnancy or was just in the early stages of pregnancy – in the end it turned out they were both right!”
Martyn, a primary teacher, said: “Eventually they decided it was a normal pregnancy, so we went away for the weekend.
“But on the Sunday night we got a call to tell us to get to Stirling right away because it was definitely ectopic.”
Arelene remained unconvinced, however, and as she was being prepped for theatre she asked the consultant if there was any possibility the baby was a twin.
She said: “I was quite insistent, to the point of being rude, but I was told there was only a one-in-40,000 chance of that being the case.”
The couple later found out that if Arlene hadn’t been operated on that night, she would have died.
The procedure itself was relatively straightforward, but afterwards she still felt unwell.
“I did a couple of pregnancy tests and they were positive, but I was told to expect that because the hormones would still be in my system.
“However, six weeks later I was still getting positive results and started to think there was something seriously wrong with me,
“I was sent to the early pregnancy unit at Larbert and they gave me a scan.
“Straight away, you could see there was a baby there.
“The staff were as shocked as we were – the lady doing the scan started crying.”
Martyn added: “The consultant said she’d seen one pregnancy like it in the past and someone else said they’d heard of it, but you got the feeling they’d never dealt with it before.”
Despite the joy at being pregnant, Arlene was still concerned about the health of the unborn baby.
She said: “I’d had an operation and a general anaesthetic, and I’d been taking painkillers for six weeks so it was worrying.’’
Arlene, who works at Prudential in Stirling, was closely monitored until her 20-week scan, at which point she was given the all clear and told to treat it like a normal pregnancy.
Little Penny was born, perfectly healthy, on May 14, weighing 8lb 9.5oz.
Her name was chosen with a little bit of help from one of Martyn’s pupils.
He said: “On the day I finished up for my paternity leave a wee boy in my class found a penny and passed it on to me for good luck.
“The baby was like our little lucky penny so it seemed a good choice.”
Now back home in Princes Park, Falkirk, Penny is settling in well alongside big sister Molly.
Arlene said: “She was a fighter – everyone at my work said she must have superhero powers. She’s our wee miracle.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said: “Around one per cent of pregnancies are ectopic and are dangerous to the mother with internal bleeding being a common complication.
“This particular situation does occur from time to time due to two eggs being fertilised.
“We are delighted to hear there has been a successful pregnancy which has resulted in a happy ending.”