Woman gives birth to twins conceived one week apart in rare pregnancy phenomenon known as superfetation

·3 min read

A mother who gave birth to two babies conceived one week apart has shared the surprise and joy she felt upon learning that she was pregnant with twins after a series of miscarriages.

Cara Winhold, from Fort Worth, Texas, and her husband Blake welcomed their first child, a son named Wyatt, three years ago. Since then, the couple has been trying to expand their family, but had been struggling to do so, with the math teacher telling Today that she’d suffered three miscarriages.

In March 2021, when Cara learned that she was pregnant again, she said she felt a sense of doom, even though she wanted to feel optimistic. “The losses really took a toll on us,” she explained to the outlet.

When the couple went for a five-week scan, they were told by the sonographer that a heartbeat couldn’t be detected, and to return in two weeks. However, it was at their seven-week scan that both they and their doctors learned that Cara wasn’t pregnant with just one baby, but two, after a second heartbeat was also detected.

“Everyone in the room was in shock,” she recalled of the moment that the sonographer identified a second foetus with an equally strong heartbeat. According to Today, Cara’s pregnancy with two babies was the result of a phenomenon called superfetation, during which another pregnancy occurs amidst the first one.

According to Healthline, superfetation occurs when another egg is fertilised and implanted in the womb days or weeks after the first one. Dr Lisa Thiel, a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Spectrum Health told Today that the phenomenon is so rare because “hormones are released by the woman’s body to prevent further ovulation and a thick mucous is created at the cervix to prevent any further sperm from entering the uterus at that time.”

The Winholds told NBC10 that their doctor believes the babies were conceived about a week apart. However, the boys, who are considered twins, were born just minutes apart, with the couple welcoming sons Colson and Cayden on 25 October 2021.

“With everything that’s happened to us, they’re a miracle to me, to both of us,” Cara told NBC10.

Since the birth of the babies, the mother-of-three has shared insight into the rare pregnancy on TikTok, where she goes by the username @mommawinhold.

In a recent post, in which Cara filmed the older of the twins wearing a onesie that read: “I was planned,” while her other son wore one that read: “I was a surprise,” she referred to the surprise birth of the couple’s third son as her “favourite surprise”.