Karen Troy, 25, was shocked to discover she was pregnant with twins and had a bicornuate uterus – which means it is heart-shaped - in March 2021.
The mum-of-three had no idea she had an irregularly shaped uterus - despite already having one daughter, now six.
The chance of becoming pregnant with twins with a heart-shaped womb is one-in-500 million.
Karen had a smooth pregnancy until she developed pre-eclampsia at 34 weeks and had to be rushed for a c-section when her blood pressure rose.
Her twins, Ryan and Raelynn, were born on 5th September 2021, weighing 5lbs 10oz and 5lbs 1oz, and spent 27 days at Umass memorial medical center, Massachusetts, US, before they were able to come home.
Karen, a stay-at-home mum, from Northborough, Massachusetts, US, said: “I was more worried about the fact I was having two babies than having a heart-shaped uterus.
“I just wanted to make sure they were OK.
“I didn’t believe I had a heart-shaped uterus at first so I went back for another scan to make sure it was true.
“I was monitored closely because it was a high-risk pregnancy.
“It was really emotional seeing them for the first time because they were tiny.
“I was so happy but scared to have two tiny babies.
“We were so excited when we got them home.”
Karen and her husband, Shaunan, 24, who owns a junk removal company, were delighted to find out they were expecting in January 2021.
But the couple got more than they bargained for when they found out it was twins at their 12-week scan.
Karen was also told she had a heart-shaped uterus – which only four in 1,000 women have.
“It’s very rare to have a heart-shaped uterus and fall pregnant with twins,” Karen said.
“I remember being confused at the scan.
“I just kept asking: ‘Are they OK?’”
Karen decided to go for another scan to double-check that the first sonographer had been right.
“They said my pregnancy was very high risk because I had a heart-shaped uterus and was expecting twins,” she said.
Karen was monitored closely, and doctors spotted she had pre-eclampsia – a condition that causes high blood pressure – and had to perform and emergency C-section at 34 weeks.
Ryan was born on 5 September 2021, weighing 5lbs 10z, at 9.44am, followed by Raelynn at 9.46am, weighing 5lbs 1oz.
“The first 24 hours were really hard for me,” Karen said.
“I had to stay in a machine to stop any seizures from the pre-eclampsia.
“The twins had to stay in the NICU to learn to feed and stabilise their breathing.
“Ryan’s heart rate kept going up and down.”
Karen was able to come home after four days and had to leave the twins in hospital until they were ready to come home after 27 days.
“It was depressing being home without them,” she said.
“We were so excited to finally bring them home and that everything had come well for them.”
The twins are now 16 months old and are thriving apart from some delays in their motor skills.
“They are both so different,” Karen said.
“Raelynn is a hurricane.
“She loves to pick everything up and put it in her mouth.
“Ryan will observe more and is quieter.
“I never found out about my uterus in my first pregnancy as it’s not always obvious in scans.
“It’s really hard to fall pregnant with twins with a heart-shaped uterus.
“I’m just glad they are healthy and well.”