A mum from the Jessore district in southwest Bangladesh gave birth to a premature baby, but less than four weeks later she gave birth to two additional babies. What?!
Twenty-year-old Arifa Sultana had her early baby in late February, but was rushed back to (another) hospital 26 days later with abdominal pains.
“Doctors found she was still pregnant with twins in a second uterus and performed an emergency Caesarean,” the BBC reports.
A double uterus is quite rare and occurs when the two tubes that form the uterus during early development don’t merge into one single womb (as they usually do.)
In these cases, each uterus is a little smaller than the average uterus which means that babies in women with this condition are often born early or in some cases sadly miscarried.
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“This is not the first case on record of a double pregnancy involving a double uterus – although previous examples are not thought to have involved three babies,” The Guardian reports.
“When the patient came in we performed an ultrasound on her and found there were twin babies,” Dr Sheila Poddar, a gynaecologist who performed Arifa’s c-section said. “We were very shocked and surprised. I have never observed something like this before.”
Arifa’s circumstances meant that she was unable to access ultrasound technology during her pregnancies.
“She had no idea that she had two other babies. We carried out a caesarean and she delivered twins, one male and female,” Dr Poddar told the BBC.
The mum-of-three spent four days in hospital recovering from this surprise twin birth.
“The babies and her are all healthy. I am very, very happy that everything went well.”
“It was a miracle”
For Arifa and her husband Sumon Biswas – who live on a very low income – their instant family brings with it some challenges.
“I don’t know how we will manage such a huge responsibility with this little amount,” Arifa told Associated Press, The Guardian says.
“It was a miracle from Allah that all of my children are healthy. I will try my best to keep them happy,” Sumon said.
The couple have named their babies Ifad Islam Noor, Mohammad Huzaifa and Jannatul Mawa Khadija.