Pregnant Woman Gets Pregnant ... Again!

Jacqueline Burt Cote

twin babiesEven pregnancy isn't a foolproof method of birth control! Julia Grovenburg of Arkansas was two weeks pregnant when she conceived a second child, eventually going on to give birth to two babies on the same day who aren't twins. Give this woman a reality show, I say!

The medical term for piggybacking pregnancies is superfetation, and it's extremely rare -- there are only 11 cases on record. But it does happen, even though experts aren't entirely sure why. For a preggers lady to get re-pregnant, two supposedly impossible things need to take place:

The pregnant woman needs to continue to ovulate after conceiving the first baby, and the second fertilized egg needs to implant itself into the lining of the womb. When pregnancy hormones are doing their job, women stop ovulating. So maybe it's some kind of hormonal malfunction that causes superfetation? Who knows? (Apparently no one.)

Usually the back-to-back pregnancies occur within such a short span of time that there aren't any tremendously significant developmental gaps between babies, so both can be delivered at the same time. Both of Grovenburg's children, a boy and a girl, were born healthy, though she says the "younger" baby (her son) tends to be just a tiny bit behind his sister, milestone-wise. So I guess in the end having two babies born on the same day who aren't twins is pretty much like having two babies born on the same day who are twins. Except they get a super-cool story to tell for the rest of their lives. And perhaps, going back to my original idea, a reality show!

Think about it: We already have reality shows about every other unusual pregnancy, from teen pregnancies (not that those are very unusual) to 8-babies-in-1-pregnancies to endless pregnancies (oh, those zany Duggars) to I-didn't-know-I-was-pregnant pregnancies (how could you NOT KNOW?). We're running out of options here! Somebody better start filming those babies before they get much bigger!

Have you ever heard of superfetation?


Image via Ruth L/Flickr

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