Shelby Magnani of Ankeny, Iowa, went to the hospital recently with a sharp pain in her side. But she was in no way prepared for the moment she learned its cause, and even doctors were surprised as well.
According to WHO-TV, it was twins. Not only that, but a rare type of twins.
“I had really sharp pain in my left side and went into the doctor, and they said, 'we think you might be pregnant,'" Magnani told WHO. “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.”
The twins were monoamniotic, meaning they shared the same placenta and amniotic sac, which is rare. A similar set of twins was born earlier this year in Ohio and the two girls were actually holding hands when they were delivered.
“About 1 to 2 percent of all pregnancies are twins, but even rarer than that is monoamniotic twins,” Dr. Jennifer Krupp with Perinatal Center of Iowa told the news station.
Krupp said the risk factor with this type of twins is high. According to a study published in 2005, monoamnoitic twins have a high mortality rate, but it has improved compared to previous decades due to increased monitoring.
“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," she said, noting that the umbilical cords especially can become a problem.
Ava and Anna, two healthy girls described by their new mother as "little miracles, were born last week through a Cesarean section. They are still in the hospital, but WHO reported that they are expected to go home in a few weeks.
Watch the news station's report on the surprising but happy discovery:
Front page image via Shutterstock.