Angie Cromar is no stranger to pregnancy. Besides being a labor and delivery nurse, she also has three children with her husband. Pregnancy number four should have been a breeze for her.
However, despite her experience, nothing could have prepared her for what her first ultrasound revealed, surprising her and her doctor.
The ‘twins’ she’s currently carrying are not actually twins at all. Cromar, 34, has a rare condition called uterus didelphys, or ‘double-uterus.’
She discovered she was pregnant with two babies at two slightly different stages of development – about four days apart.
"I'm five weeks and four days in one, and six weeks and one day in the other,” she said.
So, one baby is due in about five months, with the other due about one week later. The two babies will be siblings, not twins, but will be the exact same age.
Many women with this unusual uterine structure go undiagnosed their whole life, although they do have higher rates of miscarriage and premature births than women with typical uteri.
Although Cromar, of Murray, Utah, knew of her condition, she never expected to find herself pregnant with two babies in separate wombs. It was never an issue in her other pregnancies, but this time she conceived in both.
The chances of this happening are one in five million.
"Probably less than 100, so far, worldwide, have been reported," said her doctor, Steve Terry. "So she's a member of a small, elite club."
Cromar said her husband was excited, but a bit incredulous, when she broke the news to him.
"He didn't believe me for a little while," she said.
Then reality set in. As a labor and delivery nurse, Cromar said she knew the rarity can bring about complications like pre-term labor and low birth weight.
"Oh, I'm a little nervous, just because I know what can happen, but I'm really excited. It's pretty rare. We are pretty thankful, pretty happy," she said.
The babies are already creating a buzz for the family, which is now buying double of everything, and in the medical community.
"As far as setting up bleachers and selling tickets, we are not anticipating that, though," Terry said.
The babies are due some time around January, 2011.
Whoa! And I always thought having one uterus was problem enough!
— The Curator