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A Happy Family is a World's First
December 21, 2006 11:03 AM   Subscribe

"There are few world firsts nowadays, but it may be one." - A quote used to describe triplets born to a woman with two wombs. Double uterus is an uncommon condition that is often undetected until a woman becomes pregnant. The outcome for such pregnancies is usually good, though posing a higher risk for breech positioning. The odds of triplets (twins in one womb, one fetus in the other) are 25 million to one.
posted by grapefruitmoon (29 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dang, grapefruitmoon, as if that story weren't weird enough (never knew a double uterus even existed) Hannah Kersey, 23, from Northam in Devon, had identical twins Ruby and Tilly, who were born from one womb, Grace, who was born from the other. ! Two kids were born from uterus and the other baby was born from the other one. Incredible.
posted by nickyskye at 11:38 AM on December 21, 2006


Aww, I hope Grace doesn't feel left out of all the identical twin bonding.
posted by amro at 11:40 AM on December 21, 2006


By the way, wasn't this on an episode of Grey's Anatomy recently? I believe one of the babies was about 6 weeks younger than the other.
posted by amro at 11:41 AM on December 21, 2006


*from one uterus and the other baby...
posted by nickyskye at 11:43 AM on December 21, 2006


I can't wait to tell all my friends with two wombs about this! (Well, ok, I only know of one.)
posted by Eideteker at 11:44 AM on December 21, 2006


gluttons for punishment: Hannah's mother and sister also have two wombs.

... can't help wondering where ruby, tilly and grace were when they were giving out wombs.
posted by de at 12:09 PM on December 21, 2006


If the odds of triplets with twins in one womb and one in the other given a birth are 25m to 1, and assuming there are 85m births a year (3 000 000 000 women each having 2 babies over a 70 year lifespan, just an order-of-magnitude approximation), wouldn't there be about three of these a year?
posted by fvw at 12:13 PM on December 21, 2006


the babies were conceived from two eggs - one in each womb - which were fertilised at the same time by two different sperm.

One flew east, one flew west...
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:17 PM on December 21, 2006


If the odds of triplets with twins in one womb and one in the other given a birth are 25m to 1, and assuming there are 85m births a year (3 000 000 000 women each having 2 babies over a 70 year lifespan, just an order-of-magnitude approximation), wouldn't there be about three of these a year?

Of course not. There aren't that many women with two wombs.
posted by agregoli at 12:19 PM on December 21, 2006


better odds then winning the lottery. Is it 25 million to one for all women, or those with two wombs?
posted by delmoi at 12:26 PM on December 21, 2006


Ah, so it's given a woman with two wombs. Ok. How many of those are out there? Taking 3%, (averaging the estimates from the third link), that's still one every ten years.

(Not that it's not a great post, just a small flaw in either the statistics, or some hyperbole in the quote)
posted by fvw at 12:27 PM on December 21, 2006


Insane in the membrane.

Great story and post.
posted by LoriFLA at 12:53 PM on December 21, 2006


Wowzers. Man, I am someone want to have identical twins naturally so bad.....perhaps I needed a girl that can't help but get pregnant at least twice. :)
posted by skepticallypleased at 1:07 PM on December 21, 2006


I know a woman with 2 uteri - I'm sure she'll be horrified by this story.
posted by tristeza at 1:11 PM on December 21, 2006


I love this quote: "Gracie seems to be the ringleader - maybe because she grew up in her own womb."

I can imagine adolescence with these triplets. "Mommy, why can't I have my own womb?"
posted by jonp72 at 1:30 PM on December 21, 2006


Are the two who shared a single womb identical or fraternal twins?
posted by jason's_planet at 2:15 PM on December 21, 2006


I want to meet a man with two wombs.
posted by davy at 2:34 PM on December 21, 2006


Identical
posted by skepticallypleased at 2:44 PM on December 21, 2006


Also, I love the "doubleuterus" tag....lol.
posted by skepticallypleased at 2:45 PM on December 21, 2006



Not as weird as if there were two different fathers...
posted by Maias at 2:54 PM on December 21, 2006


fvw

Perhaps it's just the first documented occurrence?
posted by Target Practice at 3:08 PM on December 21, 2006


Since human hermaphrodites are sometimes genetic mosaics, that is, they have two separate genomes, one male and the other female, each of which contributes a set of genitalia, I wondered whether this mom might be a mosaic, only with both genomes female. If so, the kids could possibly be from two genetically distinct mothers.

On preview, though, I see that her mother and a sister also have two uteruses, and that rules out mosaics.

I was able to find this account of a mosaic mother who gave birth to naturally conceived identical twin boys (twins again, hmmm) who are genetically unrelated to her according to transplant tests, but the article is maddeningly silent about her third son (I found a mention but no more in another article which seemed to imply the third boy had not tested as unrelated, but did not say he was a product of her other genome).

If it's really true that 3% of women have this double uterus, an underlying cause might be looked for-- could it be very mild spina bifida?
posted by jamjam at 3:08 PM on December 21, 2006


Also, judging by statements made in the first article, it seems that most women with this condition can't get pregnant.
posted by Target Practice at 3:10 PM on December 21, 2006


Pfft, that's nothing, Aleksey Vayner did this twice last year.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:58 PM on December 21, 2006


Well whoever the dad is, he can go around looking positively smug these days! He's Super-Fertile Man!
posted by clevershark at 5:31 PM on December 21, 2006


The odds of triplets (twins in one womb, one fetus in the other) are 25 million to one.

So you are saying there are like sixty of these births in China every year?
posted by Pollomacho at 5:56 PM on December 21, 2006


The mother didn't have two wombs; she had one with a division down the middle. Apparently wombs form by halves, and this one didn't quite finish the job. Just heard the doc on the radio clearing up that misconception :^)
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:54 PM on December 21, 2006


I wonder if she had two cooters, too?
posted by jewzilla at 8:19 PM on December 21, 2006


I feared jewzilla's link, but curiosity got the best of me and I looked. It's actually pretty awesome.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:34 PM on December 21, 2006


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