The first rule of Pregnant Club? YOU. CAN’T. FALL. PREGNANT. IF. YOU’RE. ALREADY. PREGNANT.
Oh, except, it turns out, you can. Science is a lying, scheming so-and-so because it’s COMPLETELY possible. Not likely. Actually, super-duper rare. But, yes. Possible.
Just ask this American mum who decided to become a surrogate to a couple who desperately wanted a baby.
Pregnant surrogate falls pregnant again
Californian Jessica Allen already had two healthy boys when she decided to offer her uterus to a couple who couldn’t naturally conceive.
No woman in the world should have to live their life without experiencing the love and the bond from a mother and a child.” – Jessica told the BBC.
She signed up with a San Diego-based firm called Omega Family Global and was matched with a couple. She would receive $30,000 for the arrangement which she wanted to use to save up for a house.
Jessica underwent IVF in April and the embryo took. The couple was thrilled. However, six weeks later another baby appeared on a routine ultrasound.
I was pregnant through IVF already and at about six, seven weeks they found another embryo and they labelled it that the one embryo that they transferred split and turned into twins,” Jessica explains.
In December Jessica delivered twin boys via c-section and they were immediately handed over to the new parents.
However, one month later, Jessica got a text from the mother of the twins with an accompanying photo of the babies.
‘Obviously not identical twins’
I did notice that one was much lighter than the other. I immediately freaked out and I asked my case worker, ‘what’s going on, how can this be, what’s happened, how did this happen?’ She didn’t have any answers for me,” Jessica said
The mother gave her children a DNA test and, it turned out, Jessica was the genetic mother of one of the twins.
Obviously shocked to the core, Jessica was unsure how to proceed or how this could even happen.
The answer? Superfetation. It means that a pregnant woman conceives again just days (or weeks) after her first conception.
My body naturally still ovulated while I was already pregnant – that’s very rare – no one really knows about it but obviously, with my situation, more people are learning about it,” Jessica said.
According to the Independent, only 10 cases across the world have ever been documented but we’re not sure about this number.
After all, we recently also shared another story of a woman who conceived a third baby while already pregnant with twins. So we’re guessing it’s a bit more common than we may think!
How superfetation works
In order for superfetation to happen a pregnant woman needs to ovulate during an ongoing pregnancy (rare), have that ovum fertilised by a sperm cell (also rare) and then have that fertilised egg implant in an already pregnant womb (super rare).
The chances of these three unlikely events occurring simultaneously seem nearly impossible.
While in most instances of superfetation, the babies may have different conception dates but they are born on the same day and have the same mother.
However, for Jessica, this wasn’t a normal situation. After all, her name wasn’t on her biological son’s birth certificate.
Legally – she was not the parent.
‘We definitely want our son’
Jessica and her husband were told that because the intended mother signed the baby’s birth certificate, she was his legal mother.
If she wanted to give him up for adoption, she could.
I’m not on his birth certificate but I am his genetic mother, my husband is his genetic father and we have that proof through DNA. We definitely want our son.
It was heartbroken knowing I carried a baby I didn’t know was mine and that he was taken from me without my knowledge and was in the arms of other people where he did not belong.”
Jessica and her husband had to fight for their son through court and incurred legal fees, but, nine months later, they were finally given custody of their son, whom they named Malachi.
We treasure Malachi with all our hearts,” Jessica adds. “I don’t regret becoming a surrogate mom because that would mean regretting my son. I just hope other women considering surrogacy can learn from my story. And that a greater good will come out of this nightmare.”
What an ordeal!