Imagine being pregnant with twins, but giving birth to them months apart. That’s what happened to new mum Lilliya Konovalova who gave birth to her daughter in May and her son in August.
Lilliya, who is from Northern Kazakhstan, went into labour early with daughter Liya at only 25 weeks. The tiny and very fragile baby was safely delivered, but Liya’s twin brother was happy to stay put. This can sometimes happen when a woman’s contractions stop after one twin has been delivered and it’s in the second baby’s best interests to have some time to grow closer to full-term.
Baby Maxim was indeed happy to keep cooking – for another eleven weeks, in fact.
“My son was in no rush to come out into the world,” Lilliya told The Mirror.
These different birthdays were made even more likely because Lilliya had a condition known as uterus didelphys.
This means that she has a double uterus and that each baby was able to develop in its own womb. Premature labour is also quite common with this condition, hence twin one’s early appearance.
Some women who have uterus didelphys may also have two cervixes and two vaginas, although this is not always the case (and may not be in Lilliya’s).
Double uterus and double babies
Sometimes women with this kind of double uterus have trouble getting pregnant, because the lining of their uteruses is not fully developed, or their wombs might be an irregular shape.
But in Lilliya’s case, there were no such fertility issues. She already had a seven-year-old daughter and doctors discovered her condition after the birth of that child.
“I was shocked when I found out that I had such a condition,” Lilliya explained and even more so when twin one arrived so early.
“I was so worried about the life of my premature baby. But our doctors were great. What they did was a miracle.”
Very rare and unusual birth
Further, the odds of conceiving one twin in each womb for a woman with uterus didelphys are apparently 1 in 25,000.
Lilliya and her twins are now all healthy and happy. Apparently, they are preparing to leave the hospital and head home to begin their new life together in earnest.