When UK mom Kelly Fairhurst arrived at her twelve-week scan, she was excited to see a glimpse of what she thought was her third baby.
Already mom to two girls, Agyness (4) and Margot (3), Ms Fairhurst received the shock of her life when she was told she and her partner Joshua Boundy were expecting two!
But the surprise didn’t end there. The doctors revealed that she actually has two wombs and two cervixes – and a twin in each. Kelly was told that the condition known as ‘uterus didelpys’ was so rare that the chances of conceiving twins in each womb was one in 50 million.
“With my second baby they said that I might have a bicornuate uterus, which means it’s not fully formed. So when I went for this scan, I was really surprised to learn that I have two of them”, Kelly told The Sun.
“I just thought, ‘God, that’s a shock.’ It makes you feel incredibly grateful that this has happened to you and you get to have two amazing babies.”
An ultrasound taken at 14 weeks shows the double uterus side by side.
Kelly is now being treated by doctors in London. Neither of her previous pregnancy scans picked up her condition at the time.
Doctors have told Kelly that she might end up having two separate labors.
Ms Fairhurst explained that she wanted to raise awareness of the condition and connect with others who’ve been through it too.
“I wanted to be able to speak to people who have been through the same situation as me, to know the outcome of the pregnancy and if they experienced any complications,” she said. “Some people, like me, are completely unaware they have a didelphys uterus. It’s common to have miscarriages with a didelphys, so maybe there are women out there unaware that may be the reason why.”
“I’m no medical expert,” she said, “but it’s just another possibility.”
The babies are due in November although the couple expect they might make an early appearance.
“We know the chances of them being premature are incredibly high,” Ms Fairhurst said. “But we just don’t know how early they will be.”
Follow their journey on Instagram, @wombfor2
What exactly is uterus didelphys?
An embyronic deformity, uterus didelphys or double uterus is one of the least common of the congential defects of the female genital system. It’s estimated to occur in around 0.5 – five per cent of the general population or 1 in 1000 – 3000 women. Typically, those with the condition have no symptoms and it’s only discovered after a woman experiences multiple miscarriages or premature labour.
While duplication usually happens with the uterus and cervix, sometimes women can have two vaginas, bladders, urethras and anuses. For those with uterus didelphys there’s an estimated 45 per cent (or lower) chance of carrying pregnancy to term, compared to a normal uterus.
Multiple pregnancies in uterus didelphys are even more uncommon, with delivery intervals between twins varying from days to weeks. In a world medical first, in 2006, Hannah Kersey, from Devon, England, gave birth to three daughters from two wombs – identical twins Ruby and Tilly were delivered from one womb, while baby Grace was delivered from the other. The chances of this occurring are around one in 25 million.