A mother who was warned that she might never have children has revealed how she conceived twin boys just seven days apart.
Kimberley Tripp, from Brisbane, Australia, gave birth to sons Patrick and Leo in March 2020, weighing 5lbs 6 oz and 4lbs 1oz, respectively.
The babies were born due to a medical phenomenon known as superfetation, when a second, new pregnancy occurs during an initial pregnancy. Normally, a pregnant woman’s ovaries stop releasing eggs, making it impossible to conceive again. During superfetation, the process of ovulation continues, making it possible for the woman to become pregnant with a second baby.
Unlike traditional twins, which occur either when two eggs are fertilised simultaneously (non-identical twins), or when a fertilised egg splits in two (identical twins), superfetation leads to a woman becoming pregnant with an additional foetus that’s younger than the existing foetus.
The boys are technically considered to be twins because they were born on the same day.
Kimberley suffered with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). As the condition can affect fertility, Kimberley underwent IVF treatment in an attempt to conceive a baby.
The office manager only discovered her ‘miracle’ twins when she attended a six-week scan to check on the progress of the IVF embryo. She was delighted to find out that there was a second embryo, too!
Kimberley and her husband, Adrian, spent thousands of dollars on four rounds of IVF before one embryo was successfully transferred.
Kimberley said: “It was something we thought might never happen. Then at our first ultrasound at six weeks along, we discovered that there was not just one baby, but two. I was in total shock.”
She added: “The IVF specialist explained to me that due to all the medication I was taking for the IVF, it must have kick-started my fertility. This meant I was able to ovulate and conceive naturally at the same time.”
There is no way to know for certain which child was conceived first. However, the family have speculated that Patrick may have been conceived first, either naturally or via IVF, as he is a little bigger than brother Leo.
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