It almost sounds like the set-up to a joke: A woman walks into a clinic with stomach pains — and walks out with twins.
But it was no joke for Shelby Magnani of Iowa, because that’s exactly what happened.
“I had really sharp pain in my left side and went into the doctor, and they said ‘We think you might be pregnant,'” said the new mom in an interview with 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.”
It’s a fairly uncommon occurrence for women to not know they are expecting, although it does admittedly happen in about 1 out of every 600 pregnancies. It’s even more uncommon for a woman to not know she’s expecting when she is carrying twins — that’s twice the babies, after all!
Magnioli was not only pregnant with twins — she was six months along.
And the type of twins she was pregnant with were a rare type of twin. Doctors told the expecting mom that she was pregnant with monoamniotic twins, which meant that the babies shared one placenta and one amniotic sac. As Dr. Jennifer Krupp, who is with the Perinatal Center of Iowa, said, “About one to two percent of all pregnancies are twins, but even rarer than that is monoamniotic twins.”
That the twins were monoamniotic twins was a significant fact because monoamniotic twins can present very real and dangerous challenges during pregnancy and delivery. The death rate for mono twins is 15 to 20%.
As Dr. Krupp explained, “The entanglement of the cords is what we worry about. 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.” Where the cord entanglement occurs cuts off the blood flow to one or both of the babies, which can be fatal.
Fortunately for Shelby Magnioli, her babies were fine and her surprise twins were delivered just last week via C-section. She had two girls, Ava and Anna. One weighed in at 4 pounds, and the other weighed in at 3 pounds.
“They’re both just little miracles, it could have been so many things that went wrong that didn’t,” said their mother.
And happily, doctors expect Anna and Ava to go home in just a couple of weeks.
[Image via whotv.com]