Kelsey Hatcher was only 17 when she discovered she had a double uterus.
Fox News Digital spoke highly of her to the 32-year-old mother and fitness instructor – she already has three children rare pregnancy.
“I was having some minor complications that led us to create a OB appointmentand after the exam and ultrasound, they found out,” he said.
Known as didelphic uterus, Hatcher’s condition affects only about 0.3 percent of the population, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
“Essentially, uteruses are the size of one divided in half.”
Hatcher had taken it first three children in “normal” pregnancies — Raelynn (6), River (4), and Rhemy (2).
For her upcoming pregnancy, she was a little nervous before her 8 week ultrasound.
“When the tech scanned and said everything looked good, I confirmed, ‘There’s only one, right?’” Hatcher said.
“She smiled and said yes, so I took a breath and relaxed. But then I said, ‘I’m not sure if it’s on my chart, but I have a second uterus, so don’t be alarmed.’ “
The technician looked for the other uterus.
“He didn’t even have a chance to speak before I blurted out, ‘Oh my God, there’s another one!’” she recalled.
Hatcher was “absolutely shocked,” he said.
“All I could do was laugh,” he said. “I immediately called my husband, Caleb, to tell him, since he wasn’t at my appointment. He and I laughed together.”
Hatcher’s doctors were also in shock, she said, repeating how “rare and special” her case was.
FILE – A pregnant woman lies on her bed with monitoring devices placed on her belly as she prepares before giving birth to her baby in the maternity ward of a hospital. (CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP via Getty Images)
The chances of any woman having this type of pregnancy are about one in 50 millionas a gynecologist at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston told Scientific American.
Shweta Patel, MD, assistant professor in the Department of OBGYN at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who is also Hatcher’s obstetrician, described the pregnancy as “very amazing.”
“It’s quite rare to have a uterine didelphus, more commonly known as a double uterus, but even rarer to have a pregnancy in each uterus,” she told Fox News Digital.
“I had to see the ultrasound images myself to believe it.”
Genetically, the children – both girls – fit the definition of fraternal twins.
“We just have the additional separation of different uteruses,” Hatcher said.
“Since the pregnancies occur in separate uteruses, we know that they occurred with two separate eggs and two separate sperm, which means they will be fraternal twins,” Patel added.
“It’s so rare to have a pregnancy in each uterus that I’m not sure we can call it anything other than a twin pregnancy.”
Risks related to rare pregnancy
The risks of Hatcher’s two pregnancies are the same as a single pregnancy, she told Fox News Digital.
“There is always a risk of preterm labor, miscarriage or uterine rupture if the baby is delivered too long, but all of these things are a risk for any pregnancy,” she said.
So far in Hatcher’s pregnancy, she prenatal care it was no different — “especially because I had three successful births before the twin pregnancy,” she noted.
Her third trimester, however, was “a little more invasive,” as it was co-managed by her regular obstetrician and the high-risk team.
“They mostly watch the girls more closely, to make sure they are growing properly and to discuss all of our options for birth,” Hatcher said.
Patel agrees, pointing out that the risks of having a twin pregnancy with one baby in each uterus are similar to those of having a twin pregnancy in one uterus – for example, giving birth prematurely, developing preeclampsia and bleeding after birth.
“Kelsey had a routine prenatal care for the most part, especially early in pregnancy,” Patel told Fox News Digital.
“She will need more frequent ultrasound visits and prenatal care in the third trimester to monitor the babies, especially their growth.”
The current plan is for Hatcher to have a natural, vaginal birth.
“We believe that because my body has done this three times before, it should be able to deliver twins the same way,” she said.
“There are so many factors that need to be considered.”
FILE – A woman having an ultrasound. (JASPER JACOBS/AFP via Getty Images)
Hatcher’s doctors allow her to carry longer than most twin moms, in hopes that her body will go into labor spontaneously, either in both uteruses or just one.
“They’ll let me deliver one fully if only one side goes into labor, as long as the other baby and I are okay. Then they’ll start an induction for the second baby,” Hatcher said.
If neither uterus goes into labor on its own, the plan is for Hatcher to be induced on Dec. 22.
A double cesarean section is a last resort.
“The most unpredictable part is the delivery,” Patel said. “Do we deliver vaginally? Do we deliver via cesarean section? Beyond published case studies, guidelines are limited.”
“Ultimately, with the help of our maternal-fetal medicine colleagues at UAB and considering Kelsey’s wishes, we were able to make our recommendations.”
Patel added, “It takes a team to care for such a rare pregnancy, and I am grateful that Kelsey is at UAB, where we can provide this interdisciplinary care.”
“I was extremely blessed and grateful,” Hatcher said of her experience.
“I carried all three of my previous babies to full term, two of the three even at 41 weeks,” she continued.
“I have full confidence that this delivery will be exceptional and continue to beat the odds.”