THE TWIN WHO DIDN’T WANT TO BE FOUND

REAL life Meet the April Fool’s Day twins who’ve been play­ing hide and seek since be­fore they were born…

Your Baby & Toddler - - REAL LIFE - BY MAR­GOT BERTELSMANN

Wh e n 29- yearold Anri Con­radie and her hus­band Her­man (36) de­cided to start try­ing for a baby, ev­ery­thing went ac­cord­ing to script. Anri soon no­ticed preg­nancy symp­toms, and was do­ing well un­der the care of her GP, Dr Stander, in Lepha­lale in Lim­popo. For five months of a happy, healthy first preg­nancy, ev­ery­thing was so far, so straight­for­ward.

In De­cem­ber 2015, Anri had a fall and con­sulted her GP in Al­ber­ton, south of Jo­han­nes­burg, while she was vis­it­ing fam­ily, just to set her mind at ease. They lis­tened to the baby’s heart­beat on a foetal Dop­pler lis­ten­ing de­vice (he didn’t have an ul­tra­sound ma­chine in his rooms) – and still, all seemed well.

TWO OF A KIND

Back home in Lepha­lale, Dr Stander per­formed a rou­tine ul­tra­sound, and hes­i­tated – “I see a mir­ror im­age,” she said. An X-ray fol­lowed, and it was clear: the Con­radie “baby” was ac­tu­ally twins! There was a sec­ond baby, a boy, hid­ing be­hind his sis­ter.

“At this point, Dr Stander handed me over to a gy­nae­col­o­gist due to the po­ten­tial com­pli­ca­tions of a twin preg­nancy,” re­mem­bers Anri. “I agreed to de­liver the ba­bies by c-sec­tion at the Pre­to­ria-east Hos­pi­tal, un­der the care of gy­nae­col­o­gist Dr Kobus Ver­wo­erd.”

WHERE IS HE?

Anri, a qual­ity ad­min­is­tra­tor at Gen­eral Elec­tric, was fin­ish­ing up some work from her mom-in-law’s home in Jo­han­nes­burg when she felt her wa­ters break. She was 33 weeks preg­nant and had been try­ing to keep her twins in­side for as long as pos­si­ble – but it was clear to­day was D-day. The date? 1 April 2016, fun­nily enough, and coin­ci­den­tally also dad Her­man’s birth­day.

Anri was soon prepped for her c-sec­tion. An in­ci­sion was made, a bit of push­ing and

This is how Anri dis­cov­ered she has a very rare sort of uterus, called a bi­cor­nu­ate uterus. While her uterus “ends” in one sin­gle cervix, at the top it is split into two very dis­tinct horns. And to make her case rarer still, each “horn” is at­tached to an ovary and Fal­lop­ian tube of its own. When she ovu­lated, Anri’s body re­leased two eggs into two en­tirely sep­a­rate lo­ca­tions, where they waited to be fer­tilised by two sep­a­rate sperm cells (up to four days apart, as this is how long sperm can sur­vive in a woman’s body). “In a way, I had a dou­ble preg­nancy rather than a twin preg­nancy,” says Anri. “The ba­bies did not share an am­ni­otic sac, and they didn’t even share (the same part of) a uterus ei­ther.”

Ge­net­i­cally, of course, PW and Miané are non-iden­ti­cal twins. They are fra­ter­nal or dizy­gotic twins, mean­ing that two zy­gotes, made from one egg and one sperm each, grew at the same time in the same mother.

The one-in-five-mil­lion Con­radie ba­bies spent a month in neona­tal ICU catch­ing up on their growth, but are now safely back at home in Lepha­lale. They are thriv­ing, bliss­fully un­aware of the April Fool’s pranks they played on their par­ents and doc­tors be­fore their birth! YB

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