Baby born 'pregnant' needs C-section to remove her twin

bebé prematuro
iStock

Imagine giving birth to a baby girl via cesarean section at 37 weeks and then that baby having her own cesarean section within 24 hours because she was born with a baby inside of her. It sounds like something from a science fiction movie, but that's exactly what happened in Barranquilla, Colombia, to Mónica Vega. It turns out that her baby girl, Itzmara, was seemingly "pregnant" with her own twin due to a rare condition called fetus in fetu. 

More from MamásLatinas: Las fotos más lindas de los hijos de los famosos

Fetus in fetu happens when there are twins and the embryo does not divide correctly. Normally, in the case of twins, the division happens during the first week of gestation. Siamese twins occur when the division takes place during the second week. Fetus in fetu occurs when the division happens after 17 days and one twin is encapsulated in the body of the other, thus becoming a "parasitic" twin. This very rare condition happens once in every one million pregnancies and usually isn't discovered until after the mother has given birth, but that was not the case this time around.

Mónica Vega had an ultrasound that revealed something startling.

Mónica Vega had an ultrasound that revealed something startling.

iStock

In Mónica Vega's case, when she was seven months pregnant, an ultrasound found two umbilical cords. One connected baby Itzmara to her mother, and another one connected Itzmara to a mass that was growing inside of her.

Advertisement

The decision was made to deliver Itzmara early via cesarean section.

The decision was made to deliver Itzmara early via cesarean section.

iStock

Dr. Miguel Parra, an expert in high-risk pregnancies, and Mónica made the decision to deliver the baby at 37 weeks via cesarean section when it was discovered that Itzmara had a parasitic twin growing in her abdomen. The worry was that the parasitic twin could keep growing inside of Itzmara and damage her internal organs.

 

Advertisement

Itzmara was only 24 hours old when she had to have surgery.

Itzmara was only 24 hours old when she had to have surgery.

iStock

As you can imagine, performing a C-section on a baby born at 37 weeks who is only 24 hours old is very risky. Fortunately, Itzmara is a trooper and was in capable hands. She came out of surgery and is doing well.

The parasitic twin could not have survived on its own.

The parasitic twin could not have survived on its own.

iStock

As for the parasitic twin that was removed, it could not have survived on its own as it was malformed and did not have a heart or brain. The only reason the tissue was being kept alive was because it was getting nutrition directly from Itzmara's heart.

Advertisement

There was a similar case in Honduras in 2018.

There was a similar case in Honduras in 2018.

iStock

In December 2018, hospital spokesman Miguel Osorio announced that Hospital Gabriela Alvarado de Danlí-El Paraíso had the first birth of a parasitic twin in 25 years. In that case, the parasitic twin had developed half of its body outside of the fully developed twin. Can you imagine? That sweet little newborn also had to have a very complicated surgery to remove what would have been a twin sibling.

Topics: bebes prematuros  preemie