1 Womb, 2 Fetuses, 2 Weeks Apart: Here's How

'Superfetation' is really, really rare, docs are clueless, but babies should be fine
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2009 11:55 AM CDT
A pregnant woman.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Forget that 19-pound Indonesian baby. The real miracle pregnancy is Arkansas born and bred: Julia Grovenburg, who this month managed to get pregnant not once, but twice. That’s right: two conceptions, one two weeks after the other, to be enjoyed—cherished, endured, served—concomitantly. There are only 10 recorded cases of the phenomenon, called superfetation. Time takes a look at how it works.

Superfetation occurs when a woman continues to ovulate after conception ­and a fertilized egg manages to attach itself to the already pregnant womb’s lining. This is, of course, very rare, as the hormones spawned by the primary pregnancy generally stop ovulation, and the pregnant womb’s lining is generally too thick for a new egg to attach. Nobody has any idea how it happens, but things should turn out well for Grovenburg—with the extra pregnancy so close on the heels of the first, she will likely just have one slightly premature baby.