An Australian mother has revealed how she conceived ‘twin’ boys seven days apart.
Kimberley Tripp, from Brisbane, was warned that she might never have children. However, she gave birth to sons Patrick and Leo in March 2020. The boys were born due to a medical phenomenon called superfetation.
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 when already pregnant.
Normally, a pregnant woman’s ovaries stop releasing eggs. Yet during superfetation, the process of ovulation continues, making it possible for the woman to become pregnant with a second baby.
Patrick and Leo are technically considered to be twins, as they were born on the same day last year.
Before the boys were born, Kimberley had been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), meaning that she underwent IVF treatment in an attempt to conceive.
She and her husband, Adrian, spent thousands of dollars on four rounds of IVF before one embryo was successfully transferred.
The Australian office manager only discovered her ‘miracle’ twins when she attended her six-week scan to check on the IVF embryo. Her and her husband were delighted to learn that there was a second embryo in the womb!
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.”
Although there is no way to know which child was conceived first, Kimberley said that the family believes Patrick might have been conceived first, either naturally or via IVF, as he is a little bigger than his brother, Leo.
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