A mother with a rare condition called uterus didelphys has given birth to twins, with one baby growing in each of her two wombs. American Ashley Calo, 31, said she was shocked when her doctor told her that not only would she have twins – a boy and a girl – but that they would each have their own uterus. The mother of three was born with two uteruses and two cervixes.
Ashley and her husband, Mike, 33, had no idea this was possible. Twins Zoey and Parker were born in April and are now 6 months old. “I was having an ultrasound at eight weeks when I found out. I gave the technician the usual spiel about having two uteruses, just to let him know that he would see an empty uterus. Then he told me that I was having twins and that one was growing in each uterus. My husband and I were shocked; our jaws hit the floor. I was in disbelief for about two weeks. It’s so rare, I never thought it could happen to me. I was told there 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 practicing medicine.”
For a person with a double uterus to have twins, two separate sperm and two separate eggs, one in each uterus, are needed. Uterus didelphus is a condition that usually does not cause symptoms and means that a person is born with two uteruses, two cervixes, and, in some cases, two vaginas.
“I got a kidney infection, so they did an ultrasound when I was 18 and found I had two uteruses. My paternal grandmother had the same problem, so I guess it skips a generation because none of her daughters have it. I was worried that this might affect my chance of having children, but luckily it wasn’t an issue. I had my daughter Cassidy, 3, so we decided we’d like to have two kids and started trying again. And now we have three. It was such a lovely surprise, we couldn’t be happier. I wasn’t sure at first if they were technically twins because usually twins share a womb. But that just means they had more space and, hopefully, were more comfortable! It’s crazy to think about it; it’s really amazing.
On the birth, Ashley commented: “I tried to ask the doctor if I could have a vaginal birth, but it just wasn’t going to be possible. Pregnancy with twins was much more taxing on my body. I was always hungry and ate constantly; they just consumed everything I ate. 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 weren’t allowed to have visitors. I spent four days in the hospital before returning home. We were both so worried that something might go wrong during the entire pregnancy. I was nervous at first, but luckily they both reached all of their milestones, and I knew everything was going to be okay,” she recalls.
“Now, Cassidy is an amazing big sister. Mike is a great dad. Once he got over the initial shock of having two babies, one in each womb, he was really excited. They are amazing babies, and each one has their own personality that gets more different every day. We couldn’t be happier for our family, and it will be a fun story to tell them about mommy’s double womb when they are older!”