A US woman has stunned doctors by achieving a rare medical marvel – falling pregnant while pregnant.
The Arkansas woman conceived baby girl Jillian first, and two-and-a-half weeks later conceived baby boy Hudson.
The two babies have different due dates. This is a rare development called superfetation – when a mother conceives another child while pregnant.
“It does really sound like this is a true case of different conception times for these children,” said Dr Karen Boyle of the Greater Baltimore Medical Centre.
“When the woman had her ultrasound initially, they saw one sack, one baby developing, and that baby had a certain gestational age; then they noticed a second heartbeat in a child that was much, much younger developmentally.”
Julia Grovenburg and her husband Todd were shocked to learn she would be giving birth to two babies, but not twins.
“[When] she said, ‘and baby number two has got a healthy little heartbeat,’ – I just started gagging,” Ms Grovenburg told broadcaster KFSM-TV in Arkansas.
“[We were] both in shock,” her husband added.
He said: “We were trying to put the timelines together and everything.
“We had known she had had a migraine and been at the hospital and actually had a pregnancy test at the time that one would’ve been conceived.”
His wife continued: “We feel blessed to have something so rare and as of this point they’re perfectly healthy.”
Reports of superfetation usually only occur once a year.
The babies are due in different years – at the end of 2009 and start of 2010. However, the pair were expected to be born together, naturally or by caesarean section, in December.
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