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Alabama woman pregnant with two uteruses gives birth to healthy twins

When Kelsey Hatcher gave birth last week, she smiled and cried as doctors cheered and clapped. But after Alabama doctors handed Hatcher her newborn just minutes later, they got back to work.

There was yet another baby to be delivered.

Hatcher was pregnant with two fetuses in separate uteruses, which occurs in one in a million pregnancies, her doctors said. After doctors planned for seven months for a pregnancy they never witnessed, they delivered Hatcher’s healthy babies last week.

Roxi, who developed in Hatcher’s right uterus, was born Tuesday. The next morning, Rebel, from Hatcher’s left uterus, was born by cesarean section.

Hatcher and her fraternal twins returned to their home in Dora, Alabama, on Friday and spent their first Christmas together.

“Never in our wildest dreams could we have planned a pregnancy and birth like this; but delivering our two healthy baby girls safely has always been the goal,” Hatcher, 32, said in a statement posted on the University of Alabama Hospital at Birmingham’s website (UAB). “…It seems fitting, however, that they had two birthdays. They both had their own “home”, and now both have their own birth story.

Shweta Patel, Hatcher’s obstetrician at UAB, told the Washington Post that the babies’ deliveries filled the room with “excitement and happiness.”

“It was a sigh of relief that everyone was doing so well postpartum,” Patel said.

Hatcher was born with uterus didelphys, a rare condition that forms two uterine cavities. The disorder increased Hatcher’s risk of miscarriage and premature birth, but she and her husband, Caleb, had two daughters and a son who were born without complications.

In March, Hatcher unexpectedly became pregnant. She and Caleb hoped to raise four children, but they would soon learn there would be a fifth.

In May, an ultrasound nurse discovered fetuses in both of Hatcher’s uteruses. Hatcher said she laughed in disbelief.

She started feeling both fetuses kicking around 16 weeks into her pregnancy. Doctors told her babies could arrive hours, days or weeks apart.

Even though Hatcher wasn’t sure how the pregnancy would progress, she and Caleb decided to give the babies names starting with R — the same letter their other children’s names begin with.

Hatcher wanted to have both of her babies before Christmas so her family could spend the holidays together. While Hatcher’s original due date was Dec. 22, her doctors moved the date up in hopes of meeting her goal.

When the couple visited UAB on Tuesday, Hatcher worried about potential problems, such as babies taking a long time to be delivered, she said in an interview released by the hospital .

At UAB, doctors gave her Pitocin, a labor-inducing drug, to induce contractions in both uteruses. Doctors monitored both fetuses via ultrasound to determine which baby should be born first. While Patel said the hospital had operating room staffing similar to a traditional twin pregnancy, there were more nurses than usual. monitored each uterus.

Doctors noticed that the fetus in the right uterus was more advanced. Hours later, Roxi, who weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, was born at 7:45 p.m.

“We knew our time wasn’t up,” Patel said, “and we still had work to do.”

Minutes later, doctors were monitoring the other fetus while Hatcher breastfed Roxi. Hatcher told doctors she would wait any time to give birth to her two babies naturally. In her hospital room, Hatcher lay on her side with a yoga ball – shaped like a peanut – between her legs and held them off the bed in hopes of inducing labor.

But Patel said the fetus in the left uterus wasn’t falling into Hatcher’s pelvis, so the doctor suggested a C-section.

In the morning, the Hatchers returned to the operating room. The doctors didn’t know what to do with Roxi, so they brought her into the delivery room in her crib.

When Rebel was born at 6:10 a.m., weighing 7 pounds, 3½ ounces, Patel said there was more cheering, clapping and crying. Patel said she carried Rebel over Roxi’s crib so the sisters could meet.

“It was our first time as a foursome together and we were really able to breathe that in,” Hatcher said in an interview released by the hospital.

After Hatcher returned to her recovery room, she held the babies together for the first time, Patel said. When Hatcher places Roxi and Rebel next to each other, she says, they move closer and touch.

“There’s this connection there,” Hatcher said during the hospital interview. “We’ll see how strong it will be as they grow, but they definitely have a connection.”

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