Monday, July 19, 2010

1 Woman, 2 Uteruses, 2 Babies, 2 Due Dates

Our fellow Utahn, Angie Cromar from Murray, who has TWO uteruses discovered that she is pregnant with TWO babies that have TWO different due dates. The condition is called a double pregnancy and is very rare. According to science, there have been less than 100 double pregnancies that have occurred in the world.

Cromar said that her first ultrasound ended in a huge surprise for both her and her doctor. Her doctor said that the babies have two separate due days which are about a week apart.

"I'm five weeks and four days in one, and six weeks and one day in the other," stated Cromar.

So how does one come to be pregnant in both of their uteruses?

Cromar was born with two separate uteruses which is a rare condition called didelphys, and she conceived in both this time. She has had normal, one uterus births before so just because she has 2 uteruses it doesn't mean 2 babies is a guarantee, or even likely. In fact, there is a one in 5 million chance of this happening.

In the female fetus, the uterus develops from two small tubes called Mullers ducts. As development occurs, the tubes normally join to create one larger, hollow organ. Sometimes – and I guess researchers don’t know exactly why – the tubes don’t join completely and each one develops into a separate cavity, giving the uterus a heart shape.

In most cases, the two wombs share a set of Fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix and vagina, but in some cases women have two of everything. Surgery can fuse the two vaginas into one, but the wombs are typically left separate.

Uterine abnormalities occur in as many as 4 percent of women who have normal pregnancies and of these 5% have a double uterus. Some women have the condition and never know it, unless it is diagnosed because of symptoms such as pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, or repeated miscarriages.

Ms. Cromar, a labor and delivery nurse herself, says that she is nervous, but very excited. Uterus didelphys carries a risk of preterm labor and low birthweight, but she has had normal pregnancies so far and so she remains positive.

Cromar is just 20 weeks along now, but the babies are already creating a buzz for the family and the medical community.

"As far as setting up bleachers and selling tickets, we are not anticipating that." chuckles jokester Dr. Terry.

"It's pretty rare. We are pretty thankful, pretty happy," Angie says.

Angie and her husband say they've gotten used to the anomaly. Now they're busy preparing for more of the normal parts of parenthood: exciting times and sleepless nights.

And if you think this is weird, read about an Italian woman's even crazier double pregnancy here.

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