Thanks to modern fertility treatments, people who previously wouldn’t have been able to conceive can now go on to become pregnant and give birth just like anyone else.
Fertility medication can be life-changing- and in some cases, surprising!
When Rebecca Roberts and her partner Rhys weaver turned to get medical help after unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for several years, they always knew that twins would be an option.
But their surprise would come in the form of two babies-with a three-week age difference!
“It was really, really shocking to be told there were two babies instead of one,” Roberts, 39, of Wiltshire, England, told “Good Morning America.” “Then they told me there was a three-week size difference between the two babies that the doctors couldn’t understand.”
Rebecca had been at her 12-week scan when she first found out the surprising news. At first, the doctors were baffled as to how there were two babies of different sizes and ages in Rebecca’s stomach.
Eventually, doctors learned that Rebecca has experienced something called superfetation. Apparently, it’s an occurrence so rare that the number of times it’s happened is actually unknown.
Superfetation happens when a second, new pregnancy begins during an initial pregnancy.
Two eggs are released from the ovaries, are fertilized at different times, and implant into the uterus at different times-sometimes days or even weeks apart.
“My initial reaction was how had I missed the second twin,” Rebecca’s doctor, David Walker said. “And following this [I] was slightly relieved that it was not my mistake but a quite extraordinary pregnancy.”
Rebecca’s first baby measured around three weeks bigger than her second baby- and the age difference is believed to be one of the biggest documented with superfetation babies.
It wasn’t the easiest pregnancy for the couple, who were told that their younger twin, who they named Rosalie, might not survive.
“What came after getting pregnant was just such incredible hard work,” said Roberts. “It wasn’t all happy and rainbows like you expect a pregnancy to be. It was quite scary.”
She went on, “With twins, it’s scary already and then because of my age and the fact that they were conceived at different points, and then we were told that all the odds were against Rosalie.”
When Rebecca reached her 33-week mark of pregnancy, doctors discovered that Rosalie had stopped growing, due to problems with her umbilical cord.
The safest thing to do was to induce labor.
Thankfully, the birth was a success, and Rebecca welcomed Noah, who weighed 4 pounds, 10 ounces, and Rosalie, who weighed just 2 pounds, 7 ounces, into the world.
Rosalie had to spend the next 95 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, but she was well enough to come home just before Christmas.
Meanwhile, Noah spent three weeks in a different NICU before being discharged to go home with his family.
Since being reunited, the twins’ bond has only grown stronger.
“When we lay them down next to each other, it’s like they instantly know and they reach out and touch each other’s faces and it’s just the most beautiful thing,” Rebecca said. “Twins have an amazing bond anyways but the story between these two, when they’re old enough to find out, they’ll feel even more special.”
Despite the odds, little Rosalie pulled through, and both Rebecca and Rhys look forward to the future with their miracle babies.
“They’re my super twins,” concluded Rebecca. “Every day I look at them and think, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky.’”