Doctors described it as an extraordinary pregnancy and said this was the biggest age difference among known superfetation twins.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on April 5, 2021. It has since been updated.
Rebecca Roberts and Rhys Weaver had been trying to get pregnant for years and they were thrilled after learning Roberts was finally pregnant. She had been on fertility medication and was confirmed to be pregnant. The couple was overjoyed. What they didn't expect was to have twins - and not just regular twins. Doctors found out Roberts, who hailed from Wiltshire, England, was pregnant with a second baby when she had gone for her third ultrasound when she was 12 weeks pregnant with the first baby! It turns out, there was a three-week size difference between the twins, reported ABC News.
Roberts was confused and shocked at the beginning, "It was really, really shocking to be told there were two babies instead of one," said Roberts. "Then they told me there was a three-week size difference between the two babies that the doctors couldn’t understand." The doctors themselves were confused by the development and the occurrence so rare that they had no idea how many times this had ever happened before, said Roberts' doctor, David Walker, an OBGYN at Royal United Hospital in Bath.
The doctors diagnosed her pregnancy as superfetation — a new pregnancy that happens during an initial pregnancy. A superfetation happens when eggs are released from the ovary on two separate occasions and they fertilize and then implant into the uterus, said Walker. Roberts' pregnancy would also be the biggest age difference among known superfetation twins. Walker was pretty shocked himself and suspected he had made a mistake during the initial assessment. "My initial reaction was how had I missed the second twin," said Walker. "And following this [I] was slightly relieved that it was not my mistake but a quite extraordinary pregnancy."
While Roberts was digesting this information, her partner couldn't even be with her. Due to Coronavirus restrictions, Weaver couldn't attend the appointment in person. "When I found out we were having twins, he was out in the parking lot," said Roberts of her partner. They both had mixed emotions. They were confused and struggled to find information on the rare superfetation. The couple was told the younger twin, Rosalie, may not survive.
Roberts said the pregnancy was quite scary. "With twins, it’s scary already, and then because of my age and the fact that they were conceived at different points, and then we were told that all the odds were against Rosalie." Twins Noah and Rosalie were born on the same day but the younger twin was more at risk. The doctors induced labor when Roberts was 33 weeks pregnant, as Rosalie had stopped growing properly due to an issue with her umbilical cord. When they were born in September, Noah weighed 4 pounds-10 ounces, and Rosalie weighed just 2 pounds-7 ounces. Thankfully, Rosalie came home just before Christmas. She had spent 95 days in the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU). "They're my super twins," said Roberts. "Every day I look at them and think, ‘Wow, I’m so lucky.'"
The pair had tried for a baby for years and now, they have two. "I wanted another child for years and years and years and I waited for the right guy to come along and then I met Rhys and we fell in love and we wanted a baby and we were trying for ages to have one and we couldn’t get pregnant," said Roberts. "Then we got pregnant and were blessed with two babies. It’s like, wow, this was worth waiting for." Roberts said the twins are already developing a close bond, and "it’s just the most beautiful thing."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Viorika (Representative Image)