A friend of mine and her husband just had their first baby and are happy as can be, constantly posting pictures of their son on each and every social network known to man. Which is funny, considering she never liked the idea of having kids before and even openly stated that she hated children. While pregnant, she’d say to me stuff like “You know what the best part of being knocked up is? It’s not the food. It’s that while you’re pregnant, you can’t get pregnant again”. And while at the heart of a joke like that is common knowledge, from time to time common knowledge can be wrong. Case and point – the curious case of Jessica Allen and her two simultaneous pregnancies.
Jessica Allen took the job of ‘rent-a-womb’, agreeing to be a surrogate mom (of course – done in vitro). Now this is something usually done through an agency, in this case in California, a state in which surrogacy is actually within the law limits and is a commercial option for couples who can’t or won’t be pregnant themselves. The couple in that case was Chinese and they were willing to part with $30,000 for that service.
Nowadays when a woman has a bun in the oven (in this case – not even her own bun), all sorts of tests are being done to make sure that the fetus is healthy and everything is going smoother. On one such procedural ultrasound, something unusual happened – a second heartbeat was detected.
How and why did the doctor miss it before?
The guy shrugged, smiled and congratulated Jessica on the news that she was carrying twins. This unexpected turn of events meant she’d get an extra five grand and the couple would get an extra baby, so good stuff all around, right? Right?
The big day came later that December and Jessica Allen gave birth via C-section to avoid any possible complications. Two babies were delivered, just as promised. But something felt a bit off. Jessica noticed that the babies didn’t exactly weigh the same, which considering the fact they were supposed to be identical, was strange, to say the least. One month and a couple of tests later, those suspicions became reality: the two babies were not twins and in fact were not even the same race. One of them was the couple’s and the other one was Jessica’s.
Superfetation is a phenomenon in which the female body continues to ovulate, even though she’s pregnant. Since it’s super rare in our species, a smidgen of information about it actually exists on the subject. Does it have any negative effects on the children born that way? No. The boys are healthy and fit as a fiddle. Each one of them is living with his own pair of parents – one stayed with his Chinese parents and the other is with Jessica and her significant other Jasper, who’s also the biological dad of the boy. It took them a lengthy legal battle to get there, but there they are and in the end that’s what really matters.
H/T – ABC