“I had really sharp pain in my left side and went into the doctor, and they said we think you might be pregnant,” new mom Shelby Magnani told WHOTV. “They told me I was six months and told me to get down to the ER. They did an ultrasound and told me it was twins.”
Doctors said the twins were monoamniotic twins, meaning the babies shared one placenta and one amniotic sac.
“About one to two percent of all pregnancies are twins, but even rarer than that is monoamniotic twins,” said Dr. Jennifer Krupp with Perinatal Center of Iowa.
Monoamniotic twins can present challenges during delivery.
“The entanglement of the cords is what we worry about,” she said. “We bring the patients into the hospital at 24 to 26 weeks, so we can monitor the babies several times a day, because we know the risk of one or both of those babies dying is fairly significant.”
Surprise twins Ava and Anna were delivered last week by C-section. One weighed four pounds and the other three pounds.
“They’re both just little miracles, it could have been so many things that went wrong that didn’t,” Magnani said.
Doctors expect Anna and Ava to be able to go home in a couple weeks.
Earlier this year in Kansas City, Cherylin Sherman gave birth to mono mono twins at Truman Medical Center. But before their birth, there were complications.
At just 24 weeks along, Sherman learned her twins became entangled in their umbilical cords.
“Where they could cut off blood flow to one or both of the babies and potentially, the baby could die,” said Dr. Timothy Bennett of Children’s Mercy Hospital.
But Sherman’s babies were delivered at 34 weeks. Arabella was born with a heart defect and will need surgery soon. Sherman was unable to be a wage earner for months while in the hospital. The family has a GoFundMe page that allows people to help with finances. For more, visit gofundme.com/aa2m34.