Woman Nearing 40s Conceives Another Baby While Pregnant

Photo: (Photo : Meryl Spadaro / Unsplash )

At 39 years old, Rebecca Robertson got pregnant for the first time. She had been struggling with late pregnancy, even taking fertility medication. But now, the first-time mom from Wiltshire, England, is not just a mom-of-one but has been surprised with twins, rare twins at that—a boy and a girl.

Woman Conceives While Pregnant

There are only a few women in the world who got pregnant while they were already pregnant. Such a phenomenon is known as Superfetation. After struggling with infertility issues for over a year, Roberts was met with a positive result. Her obstetrician gave her the news that she was pregnant with a single child, Newsgram reported. 

With that news, Roberts was already thrilled. But that pure happiness turned into shock five weeks later when she came back for her 12-week ultrasound appointment. The ultrasound showed that she was now pregnant with twins.

One was noted to be conceived three weeks later and was less developed than the first baby seen on the ultrasound previously.

It was so shocking that the news was met with silence. The first-time pregnant woman thought something awful might have happened, but when she was told she was expecting twins, she said the experience felt surreal.

Pregnant with Super Twins

Roberts was later diagnosed with a superfetation pregnancy—a rare condition of conceiving while pregnant. Her obstetrician, David Walker, told her that the case was recorded as a rare one in the medical literature. Her case is believed to be the 14th case in the entire world.  The 2008 European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology observed fewer than 10 cases of superfetation. 

Walker said he ran several scans before coming up with a final diagnosis as it was something he had never encountered before. At first, he was concerned over how he could have missed the second twin, Live Science revealed. Later it was found out that it was not his mistake. Instead, it was a rare phenomenon. 

Also, the obstetrician was concerned about the second twin being smaller in size. Later, the medical experts determined the smaller twin was, in fact, three years younger than the older twin. 

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Mom Recalls Finding Out She Was Pregnant with Twins

Roberts revealed that she already had two ultrasound scans which both showed she was pregnant with a single baby, CBSNews revealed. Her baby boy, whom she named Noah, was conceived first. Telling the story after all the shock was over, the new mom recalls the fun part where he discovered her second baby, her daughter Rosalie during her 12-week scan. 

Did She Get Pregnant Twice?

Obstetrician Walker explained that typically, ovulation stops during pregnancy. In her case, Roberts released a second egg three weeks after the first egg was ovulated. Miraculously, the second egg was fertilized and implanted in her uterus.

Though the first-time mom was on fertility medication, which is used to stimulate ovulation and increase the chance of conceiving multiples, her obstetrician debunked that the medication caused the superfetation. The obstetrician explained that should the medicine be responsible, and the eggs would have been released simultaneously, which is not what happened in this case.

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Complications with Her Pregnancy

Due to her condition's rarity and factoring in her age and the risks of carrying twins, the couple was told that the younger twin might not survive during the third trimester. The health experts kept a close eye on her pregnancy as they did not want to compromise the more youthful and smaller twin.

At over 33 weeks of pregnancy, the younger twin had an umbilical cord that was not functioning normally. This affected the growth of the smaller baby even more. So although both babies had different conception and due dates, Roberts was scheduled for a cesarean section delivery. 

Both babies were born on September 17, 2020. Rebecca gave birth to Noah first, who weighed 4 pounds and 10 ounces. His twin sister Rosalie arrived two minutes later at a weight of 2 pounds and 7 ounces.

The super twins remained in the neonatal intensive care unit soon after delivery. Noah stayed in the hospital for more than three weeks, while Rosalie remained in the hospital for 95 days. The doctors gave the go-ahead for Rosalie to go home with her family on Christmas.

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