An extremely rare phenomenon, which occurred a few days before Christmas. The American Kelsey Hatcher, who has a double uterus, gave birth to two little girls. The first was born this Tuesday, followed by the second the next day, announced the University Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), in a press release published this Friday.
The 32-year-old mother tells her story on her Instagram account “doubleuhatchlings” (double hatching). Announcing the arrival of her “miracle babies”, she praised “incredible” doctors. The extended family is back home to “enjoy the holidays,” she adds.
This extremely rare case is the result of a congenital anomaly suffered by Kelsey Hatcher. The mother has a double uterus, like nearly 0.3% of women in the world. “Each uterus has a fallopian tube and an ovary, and in Kelsey Hatcher’s case, she also has two cervicals,” say scientists at the BBC.
She has known since she was 17 that her uterus is “didelphous”, that is to say that it has two cavities. It is during a routine ultrasound, performed at eight months pregnant in May, that Kelsey Hatcher, already a mother of three, learned that she was not only carrying twins but that each fetus had its own uterus. A double uterus is frequently associated with a high risk of complications, but all children are born healthy and full-term.
10 hours apart
After the vaginal delivery of the first baby this Tuesday, “Kelsey had contractions for baby B while she was breastfeeding baby A,” the doctors say. A cesarean section was performed for the second granddaughter, born ten hours after her big sister. The birth was scheduled for Christmas Day. The two children as well as the mother are doing well, say the medical teams.
But can we call them twins? Professor Davis, interviewed by the BBC, said the girls could be called fraternal twins, a term used when each baby develops from a separate egg, each fertilized by a different sperm. “At the end of the day, it was two babies in one womb at the same time. They just had different apartments,” he imagined.
Until then, the most well-known case occurred in Bangladesh in 2019 when Arifa Sultana, then aged 20, gave birth to two healthy babies 26 days apart.