When Lex Murphy first went for a check-up six weeks into her pregnancy, they found that everything was fine and that the embryo was developing healthily. However, when she went back for another examination just a week later – because she was suffering from unusually strong ɴᴀᴜsᴇᴀ – she was told to her great surprise that she was expecting twins.
Since everything went well the first time, Lex told her husband, Patrick , that she didn’t have to go with him and went to the second test alone. When the technician became unusually quiet during the ultrasound, she immediately knew something was wrong.
It turned out that there was not one ꜰᴇᴛᴜs growing in it, but two. Lex didn’t understand how this was possible, since only one ᴇᴍʙʀʏᴏ had been detected a week earlier. “They can’t just multiply!” she said to the doctor in disbelief, but as unbelievable as it was, that’s exactly what happened.
So-called monoamniotic twins (or mono-mono twins) share one amniotic membrane and one placenta, which is extremely rare. But these pregnancies are not only rare, but also extremely ʀɪsᴋʏ.
First, the doctors could not rule out the possibility that the babies might be born together, and the thought filled the mother with dread. Even with all the advances in modern technology, only 7.5% of conjoined twins survive and only 60% survive separation.
The doctor informed the woman that for another three months they would not be able to determine whether they were conjoined or mono-mono twins, and thus the agonizing wait began. In addition, Lex had to find another doctor and hospital where experts could constantly monitor the progress of her pregnancy.
They also warned that even if they were not conjoined, there was about a 50% chance that the twins would be born healthy and the mother could expect a very difficult pregnancy. Lex was 26 at the time and she and her partner were just about to become parents for the first time, so they were understandably very scared, but they tried to stay positive.
Lex had a really difficult pregnancy and was admitted to the hospital at 25 weeks in March 2019 to give the twins the best possible chance. For the next almost 2 months, she remained in the hospital, on complete bed rest – she also celebrated her birthday there – until finally the babies – Miles and Max – were born at 32 weeks.
“They are here and healthy!” Lex announced the news on Instagram, just one day after the birth of the twins. “They arrived as planned on May 16, 32 weeks, at 8:35 am. They are doing better than expected, but the baby still has some time in the intensive care unit ahead of us, so please keep praying for us,” she wrote.
The twins ended up spending about a month in the hospital. They’ve been great ever since, and Lex regularly shares updates about her family on social media. She also recently shared her pregnancy story on TikTok, and the video has already garnered more than 21.9 million views. At the same time, the mother is also happy to answer questions about what it means to be the parents of mono-mono twins.
After she shared her story, some people in the comments also reported similar experiences. “This was my story many years ago. My mono-mono twins are now 28 years old and have children of their own,” said one mother. But there was also a commenter who is himself a member of a mono-mono twin pair.
“I’m a mono-mono twin and I definitely scared my parents more than once during the rough first few years,” wrote one user, adding that she and her twin are now both doing well and almost inseparable – they even have their own separate language.