“Desperate Housewives” star Marcia Cross feared she was having a stroke just before she gave birth to twin girls on Feb. 20.

That’s the REAL story behind the 44 -year-old star’s delivery of daughters Eden and Savannah at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, says sources.

Marcia was tough, a source close to the actress told The ENQUIRER.

“But in the home stretch she developed symptoms she feared could be the onset of a stroke, so the doctors quickly came up with a new plan.”

According to another insider, the babies were due in April. But because of Marcia’s age – and the fact that she was carrying twins – her pregnancy was considered high-risk.

Not wanting to take any chances, doctors decided to deliver the babies early by C-section.

Marcia had been on bed rest after being diagnosed with placenta previa – a condition which could cause maternal hemorrhaging during delivery – earlier in her pregnancy, added the insider.

And as she approached the end of her pregnancy, she also developed preeclampsia, a dangerous hypertensive disorder which was responsible for Marcia’s frightening symptoms – blurred vision and headaches.

Marcia and her husband Tom Mahoney – who married last June – were deeply concerned because the symptoms can also be a sign of a stroke, says the insider.

“But in the end, everything turned out fine. The babies had healthy birth weights – five and six pounds – which is good for twins.”