Expecting twins is already an exciting and uncertain time for many new parents. There are dozens of health questions to consider and double the nerves to go with double the thrill as the parents await their little bundles of joy.
For a set of Chinese parents expecting a unique set of identical twins, though, all the excitement came to a head when they got to see a pretty special ultrasound during an emergency look at their little girls.
The girls are what’s known as monoamniotic-monochorionic twins, which differ from traditional identical twins in that they share both a placenta and an amniotic sac in the womb. This is typically caused when the fertilized egg splits slightly later in the pregnancy than normal identical twins; for “MoMo” twins, the egg splits anywhere from one to two weeks after fertilization rather than just two or three days into the pregnancy.
While MoMo twins don’t necessarily have the same health risks as conjoined twins—they develop all of their own organs—they do sometimes deal with complications of their own. They can develop what’s known as TRAPS sequence (where one twin pumps blood for both of them) or twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (where blood flow between the babies and the mother becomes unequal) and can sometimes have issues with kinks or blocks in their umbilical cords.
“My twin’s sibling rivalry started before they were even born” 😁Credit: Newsflare
اس پر NTD Television نے شائع کیا منگل، 23 اپریل، 2019
For these little girls, it was because of one of the MoMo risks that doctors rushed their mother into an ultrasound when one of the twins showed lowered vital signs. And while they later ended up being delivered due to emergency C-section in order to prevent further complications, that three-month ultrasound itself vaulted the girls into internet stardom when their close-cramped quarters left them able to box and spar together in the womb!
The girls, who were born in Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in China, are believed to be incredibly rare. Monoamniotic-monochorionic twins are so rare that TwinsUK estimates that they occur only once in every 35,000 to 60,000 pregnancies. They vary in survival estimates, too, with aggressive fetal monitoring recommended to ensure both babies survive.
In this case, luckily, both little girls were perfectly healthy at birth. They were nicknamed “Cherry” and “Strawberry” at birth, with their doctor proudly confirming that they were the first set of “MoMo” twins born at his hospital.
“The babies have been born safe and sound. It’s their parents’ fortune as well as my fortune. They are the first pair of Mo-Mo twins our hospital has successfully delivered,” stated Deputy Director He Lin of the General Hospital of Ningxia Medical University.
Their parents certainly dealt with some stress watching as the twins developed leading up to their births, and when they were delivered, their umbilical cords had indeed gotten tangled up. But for their three-month scan, at the very least, both Mom and Dad were able to get a nice big laugh in at their hilarious “boxing” antics to duke it out for room in the womb!
A similar instance of ultrasound antics recently occurred in Berkshire in the United Kingdom. At 28 weeks, a fetus appeared to “wave” at Mom and Dad from inside the womb. Although it’s more than likely the baby’s motion was involuntary at that stage, it’s certainly the kind of memory that they’ll be able to hold on to forever!