What some might call an unplanned pregnancy, Rebecca Roberts describes as a miracle.
Last year, the 39-year-old from Wiltshire, England, experienced the extraordinarily rare occurrence of becoming pregnant while already pregnant. And in September, she gave birth to twins after conceiving them approximately three weeks apart, according to Good Morning America.
“Miracles can happen, and my children are proof of that,” Roberts said.
For about a year, she said she and her partner, Rhys Weaver, struggled to get pregnant, and, when they finally did, they were thrilled. Her six-week pregnancy appointment was especially memorable because they heard their unborn baby’s heartbeat for the first time, she said.
But six weeks later, they were in for a huge shock, and so were the doctors.
It was her 12-week ultrasound appointment, and suddenly everyone stopped talking, the Washington Post reports.
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“I thought something awful had happened,” Roberts said. “The sonographer looked at me and was like, ‘Do you know you’re expecting twins?’ ”
“It was really, really shocking to be told there were two babies instead of one,” she continued in an interview with Good Morning America. “Then they told me there was a three-week size difference between the two babies that the doctors couldn’t understand.”
Puzzled, doctors eventually told Roberts that her pregnancy was the result of an extremely rare occurrence called superfetation, in which the mother’s ovary releases eggs at two separate times and allows for the conception of a second child, according to the report.
The Washington Post reports more:
The true number of superfetation cases is not known, but according to a report published in 2008 in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, fewer than 10 instances of the phenomenon worldwide had been recorded at the time.
Roberts said she and her partner were shocked but happy to learn that they were having twins.
On Sept. 17, she was induced and gave birth to Noah, the oldest, born at 33 weeks of pregnancy weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces, and Rosalie, born at 30 weeks of pregnancy weighing 2 pounds, 7 ounces.
Because Rosalie’s placenta did not grow properly and she was born so prematurely, she spent several months in the neo-natal intensive care unit, her mother said. Just before Christmas, she said Rosalie was deemed well enough to leave the hospital.
Now, the twins are growing healthy and strong at home with their parents.
“Even though they were born on the same day, there’s definitely an age difference between them,” Roberts said. “It’s noticeable.”
But, like all twins, she said it’s clear that they have a special bond.
“When we lay them down next to each other on their play mat, they look at each other, reach out and touch each other, and talk to each other as well,” she said. “It is so beautiful to watch.”
Roberts and Weaver said their babies are a miracle and a blessing.
“Every day I look at them and think, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky,’” their mother said. “It’s like, wow, this was worth waiting for.”