Mum-of-three Ashley Calo was left speechless after her doctor told her would be having twins – one boy and one girl – and that there would be one baby growing in each of her two wombs. The 31-year-old from Bristol, Connecticut, USA, was born with a rare disorder called uterus didelphys, which meant she was born with two wombs and two cervixes.
The chance of a woman having twins, with one born in two different wombs, is 1 in 50 million. Ashley, who is also mum to daughter Cassidy, 3, said she and her husband Mike, 33, a dental lab technician, never even knew this could be possible.
But the couple are now happier than ever after the arrival of their twins Zoey and Parker, now six months, who were both born at 6lb 6oz back in April 2020.
The stay-at-home mum said:
“I was at my eight week ultrasound when I found out.
“I gave the technician the usual spiel about how I have a double uterus, just to give her a heads up that she would see one uterus empty.
“Then she told me that I was having twins, and that one was growing in each womb.
“My husband and I were shocked, our jaws dropped to the floor. I was in disbelief for about two weeks.
“It’s so rare, I never thought this could happen to me. I was told it was about a 1 in 50 million chance of this happening.
“My doctor said it was the first time he had seen this in his 30 years of practising medicine.”
Uterus didelphys is a rare condition that means a woman is born with two uteruses, two cervixes, and in some cases, two vaginas.
As the condition usually does not cause any symptoms, Ashley first discovered that she had a double uterus after undergoing an ultrasound for a kidney infection as a teenager.
“I’d gotten a kidney infection, so they did an ultrasound when I was 18 and they found out I had two uteruses.
“It turns out my father’s mum had the same condition, so I think it skips a generation as none of her daughters have it.
“I was worried that it might affect my chance at having kids, but thankfully this wasn’t an issue.
“I had my daughter Cassidy, and then we decided we’d like to have two kids so we began trying again.
“And now we got three. It was a lovely surprise, we couldn’t be happier.
“I wasn’t sure at first if they were technically twins, because usually twins share a uterus.
“But it just means they had more space and hopefully were extra comfortable!”
Ashley said due to the rare nature of her condition, it attracts lots of questions from curious friends and family members.
For a woman with a double uterus to have twins, it requires two separate sperm to latch on two separate eggs, with one egg being in each womb. The chances of this occurring to any woman is 1 in 50 million, while the chances of this occurring to a woman with a uterus didelphys is 1 in 25,000.
“My mum is hilarious, she always brings it up as family gatherings and wants me to tell the story.
“Everyone is always so intrigued by it. They have a lot of questions.
“They think I have a double period, when I don’t – it’s completely normal.
“With the twins, it was a case of two separate sperm latching on to two separate eggs, one in each uterus.
“It is crazy to think about, it’s really amazing.”
Ashley said while her first pregnancy was mostly smooth-sailing, her pregnancy with the twins was more difficult.
“We thought our first daughter was going to be a boy, so we thought with this pregnancy we hoped we would get a boy and a girl.
“I don’t think we could handle three girls, but I don’t think I could have handled two boys either. So it worked out perfectly.
“I had a C-Section with my daughter, so I thought I’d probably need to have one done again.
“I did try to ask the doctor if I could have a vaginal birth, but it just wasn’t going to be possible.
“The pregnancy with the twins was far more taxing on my body. I was always hungry and was constantly eating, they were just consuming everything I ate.
“On the day I gave birth, there were about 20 people in the room.
“It was during the pandemic, so everyone had to wear a mask and we couldn’t have visitors.
I was in the hospital for four days before going home.”
“We were both so worried something might go wrong during the entire pregnancy.
“I was nervous at the start, but thankfully as they both reached all their milestones and I knew it was all going to be fine.”
“We’re so happy with our little family. Cassidy is such an amazing big sister.
“Mike is a great dad, once he got over the initial shock of having two babies with one in each womb, he was so excited.
They’re such great babies, and each have their own little personalities that grow bigger every day.
“We couldn’t be happier with our family and it will be a fun story to tell them about mummy’s double uterus when they’re older!”