Twenty-four-year-old Florida woman Andreea Barbosa gave birth to healthy fraternal twins Nathan and Natalie last week at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla. But Barbosa's birth story is unlike that of most other new moms: She has two uteruses, and one twin was born from each uterus.
The phenomenon is extremely rare -- estimated to account for one in every 5 million births -- and there have only been 100 similar cases around the world.
"I was shocked to learn I had a baby in each uterus," Barbosa said in a statement. "But my husband and I are just so happy that they are here and healthy."
Barbosa has uterus didelphys -- meaning double uterus -- which only affects about one in 2,000 women around the world. Women with the condition have an increased risk of infertility, miscarriage or premature birth, though Barbosa gave birth to her twins at 36 weeks via caesarean section.
Because Barbosa's doctors knew she had two uteruses, they prepared accordingly to ensure a safe pregnancy, Barbosa's doctor, Dr. Patricia St. John, M.D., said in a statement.
When a female fetus is developing, the uterus begins as two small tubes. In women with just one uterus, those two tubes join to form just one organ. But when the tubes don't join together all the way, it forms a double uterus, according to the Mayo Clinic.
And then to give birth to twins? The St. Petersburg Times reports how:
... A woman would have to release two eggs at once and both would have to be fertilized and implanted successfully in separate uteruses. Then both had to develop into viable pregnancies.
The last birth similar to Barbosa's was by Rinku Devi in India who gave birth to twin boys from her two uteruses earlier this summer, AOL reported.
Many women aren't even aware that they have two uteruses unless they receive an ultrasound when they become pregnant, Scientific American reported.