Woman becomes pregnant with second child when she is already pregnant

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At birth, Noah was almost twice the size of his little sister.



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The first close-ups of Noah, taken by ultrasound at seven and ten weeks pregnant, showed 39-year-old mother Rebecca Roberts and 43-year-old father Rhys Weaver the baby they had been trying to conceive for more than a year. year.

Then, at three months pregnant, Noah suddenly had company.

An ultrasound taken at week 12 showed Noah had an unexpected baby sister – fraternal twin Rosalie.

“I got pregnant when I was already pregnant, which was absolutely crazy… because it’s not supposed to happen,” Rebecca said.

Called superficiality, getting pregnant while already carrying a baby is so rare that a 2008 study found fewer than 10 recorded cases worldwide.

Doctors told the couple that the babies were actually conceived about three weeks apart, Rebecca said.

“They realized that the baby was growing at a constant rate three weeks behind the first one, and that’s when they told me, they think it’s a superfluous pregnancy, ”she said.

“I couldn’t believe this had happened to me,” Rebecca added, laughing. “But it did – it’s adorable. It’s like winning the lottery. “

Dad felt the same: “I was delighted to have a child, but more so for the twins. The job is done in one go! And then Rebecca did some research, and we realized how unique and lucky we were. “

An incredibly rare event

Superfetations are rare for a variety of reasons, said Dr. Lillian Schapiro, an Atlanta gynecologist.

First, women usually ovulate only once per cycle, releasing one or more eggs simultaneously. If fertilization with the man’s sperm is successful, the egg or eggs implant in the uterus, pregnancy begins and no further ovulation occurs.

“If a woman has twins,” Schapiro said, “two eggs are released at the same time. And in the unusual case of triplets, these eggs are all released with ovulation. Identical twins occur if a freshly fertilized egg divides.

In Rebecca’s case, the egg was fertilized and implanted during the first ovulation, and “somehow she ovulated again during that same cycle,” Schapiro explained. “Another egg was also fertilized – became another embryo – and at different times the two embryos were implanted in the uterus. “

Another reason why superfetations are exceptional, Schapiro said, is that once pregnancy begins, the uterus is no longer a hospital site for implantation. This means that the second embryo “must have successfully implanted and developed to a stage where we would not have thought it could grow”.

“We’ve hardly ever seen where two embryos start to develop at different times,” Schapiro said. “It’s just amazing. ”

Rebecca had just taken a dose of fertility drugs designed to stimulate ovulation before conceiving Noah. While that could be one of the reasons for this rare event, Rebecca said, it could also simply be a “medical wonder.”

‘Little, little baby’

At first, Rebecca and Rhys worried about baby Rosalie developing in the womb, fearing that being so far behind her big brother could affect her health at birth.

“It could go either way,” Rebecca said. “Because the baby is so much smaller, there might be a problem and he might not survive. This is generally the case.

“But they said this baby is constantly growing,” she said. “It was a relief. It was a great relief. “

Born by Caesarean section in September 2020, both babies had to spend time in separate neonatal intensive care units (NICU). Rosalie, who was born to a tiny 2-pound, 7-ounce, was sent to a specialist NICU about 15 minutes from the NICU caring for Noah, who was born at 4 pounds 10 ounces.

“He was a tiny, tiny baby that just held in our hands, and even though he was little you could tell he was a much bigger baby,” Rebecca said.

“It was very difficult. I had a major operation and our babies were also in two separate hospitals, ”she said. “So it was a really difficult job to have to travel between the two of them. “

At birth, Noah was almost twice the size of his little sister.

Noah was able to get home in three weeks, but little Rosalie was in intensive care for 95 days, coming home just before Christmas.

Today, at almost 7 months, Noah is still ahead of Rosalie, but Rhys said, “She’s a little rider. She has her own little personality, but I don’t care at all. ”

Noah turned around and “is actually showing signs of trying to crawl so he could be leaving soon, which will be fun,” added Rebecca.

“They both talk, which is really sweet, because they talk to each other. It is charming. They interact really well. It is beautiful to watch. “

Noah is always one step ahead of Rosalie, but Rhys said, `` She's a little rider, she has her own little personality, but I have no real worries at all.  ''Noah is always one step ahead of Rosalie, but Rhys said, `` She's a little rider, she has her own little personality, but I have no real worries at all.  ''

CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen and Justin Lape contributed to this story.

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