Pregnant Woman Pregnant Again | A Rare Superfetation Case
A son conceived 2 ½ weeks after a daughter
Todd and Julia Grovenburg of Arkansas are expecting new additions to their family. However, unlike the vast majority of expectant mothers with two kids on the way, Julia Grovenburg isn’t going to have twins, and the children aren’t going to be at least nine months apart. Her children, a girl to be named Jillian and a boy to be named Hudson, were conceived two-and-one-half weeks apart. They’re growing alongside one another and will have separate due dates.
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“They saw one sack, one baby developing, and that baby had a certain gestational age; then they noticed a second heartbeat in a child that was much, much younger developmentally,” Dr. Karen Boyle commented. She also noted that the difference in size and development between the fetuses is uncommon.
So rare, medical literature has almost nothing to say about it
A pregnant woman pregnant again in this manner – superfetation – is so rare that medical journals apparently haven’t paid much attention, according to Boyle. “I could only find about 10 reported cases,” she told ABC. Julia Grovenburg’s OBGYN, Dr. Michel Muylaert, wrote local media that it may indeed be superfetation: “(She) is pregnant with twins and there appears to be a discordant growth pattern, possibly due to superfetation… (however), it can only be confirmed after delivery by chromosomal and metabolic studies on the babies.”
Twin births – does superfetation cause doctors to question what they know?
One of the great things about the human condition is that we’re always learning. In the case of medical science, no reputable doctor will tell you that we know everything about every possible condition that could beset a gerbil, let alone a human being. Such may be the case with superfetation. Because it has been observed so rarely, it “may be impossible to tell if this happens more often,” says Dr. Donnica Moore. An obstetrician and president of New Jersey’s Sapphire Women’s Health Group, Moore indicated that “If the children are born at the same time, it might be that they were conceived at different times.”
Unfortunately, if the conceptions are too close together, there could be health risks for the younger child. In particular, premature birth would be a concern, says Boyle. “It [the second conception] can happen up to 24 days later than the first conception, and then you’re putting the second baby at risk for lung development problems,” she said. However, it is believed that because the span between Julia Grovenburg’s children is about two weeks, the risk won’t be great.
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Based upon traditional nine-month time spans, the older child would be born around the end of 2009 and the younger at the beginning of 2010. But if young Hudson decides to come out with Jillian, then plans will of course change. Let’s wish them the best in health and happiness. Hopefully, they’ll be able to financially manage their growing family, but if they need temporary help between paychecks, payday loans are always available.