Doctors told a Colorado mother of twin boys to try her luck at the lottery after revealing she was pregnant with another set of rare identical twin girls against 10-million-to-one odds.
Casey Saunders, 27, thought the doctor was pulling her leg when she said the mother of twin boys was expecting yet another duo, the odds of which are one in 70,000.
On top of the already impossible-seeming odds, the babies had developed inside the same placenta, a condition that only occurs with about one per cent of twin pregnancies and can cause fatal complications in the womb.
After spending the final two months of her pregnancy in the hospital while doctors monitored the twins, Casey and her partner Eugene Goree welcomed baby girls Maya and Laia on December 3.
Four months later Casey has shared her unlikely story with Daily Mail Online.
Casey Saunders, 27, is a mother of not one but two sets of rare identical twins, the odds of which are smaller than one in 10 million. Casey, her partner Eugene, 10-year-old sons Hayden and Cameron and four-month-old daughters Maya and Laia are pictured above
Casey thought the doctor was joking when she told her that she was expecting another set of twins. She is pictured left with Eugene and the boys during her pregnancy and the girls are pictured right
Casey, an optometric technician, had her boys Hayden and Cameron when she was 17 years old, and nine years later she learned she and her partner Eugene were pregnant again.
When she went in for her first ultrasound she had the excited boys in tow.
‘On the way to the ultrasound they were arguing over who was going to get to hold “the baby” first,’ she said.
‘I thought the sonographer was trying to tease me when she said there were two heartbeats because she knew I had my twin boys with me.’
The technician saw the monitor and told Casey: ‘You should go buy a Powerball ticket when you’re done here.’
She was pregnant with twins – again.
‘I was shocked. I called Eugene and said: “You’re not going to believe this,”‘ she said.
‘He was surprised but really excited from the beginning.’
The ultrasound technician told Casey she should consider buying a lottery ticket when it was revealed that she was expecting a second set of twins
MoMo twins have a high risk of complications because the umbilical cords can get tangled or compressed in the womb
Casey said she’s never tried to calculate the odds of a pregnancy like this one because they’re too complicated – but it’s clear that her girls are extraordinarily unlikely.
The odds of having identical twins are about one in 250, which is considered to be a relatively small number statistically speaking.
The likelihood of having two sets of identical twins is an infinitely smaller one in 70,000, meaning that Casey had about a .0014 percent chance of having twins again.
On top of the already miniscule odds, the twins were revealed to be monoamniotic monochorionic, which occurs in less than one percent of twin pregnancies.
Casey’s chances of being pregnant with MoMo twins were less than one in 10 million.
The MoMo diagnosis cast a shadow over the twin news, however.
MoMo twins develop a shared placenta and amniotic sac, putting them at risk of the umbilical cords tangling or being compressed, which blocks the flow of nutrients to the fetus.
‘We went from “Oh my God we’re having twins” to “Oh my God, we’re having a really high-risk pregnancy,”‘ Casey said.
After 24 weeks, the survival rate of MoMo twins is about 75 to 80 percent.
Casey said her boys were thrilled when their baby sisters were finally born on December 3
The babies had to be kept in the hospital for the first four weeks after they were born because they were delivered eight weeks premature
Because her pregnancy was a high risk one, Casey was hospitalized during the last two months of her pregnancy so doctors could monitor the babies for any potential complications.
‘It was nerve-wracking at each ultrasound not knowing if we had lost them to cord entanglement. But each week they were still there growing,’ she said.
While in the hospital she spent her time knitting and writing in a journal intended for her baby girls.
She spoke with her sons via FaceTime because they were only able to visit on the weekends.
‘It’s hard being in the hospital when you’re completely healthy and away from your family, but what kept me going is knowing that each day, every week we’re in here, we get to bring home healthy, happy baby girls and the boys can’t wait for the opportunity to have sisters,’ Casey said.
On December 3, 2017, the family welcomed baby girls Maya and Laia.
Because they were born eight weeks premature the babies were kept in the hospital for four weeks before they could go home, but Casey said they didn’t have any complications after birth.
Today, the now-four-month-olds have settled into their home with the help of their older brothers.
‘They are doing excellent. Exceeding all expectations,’ Casey said. ‘And the boys absolutely adore them.
‘They still won’t change diapers but they love to hold them and feed them. It’s heartwarming to see.’
While raising two babies at once is a challenge, it’s nothing new for Casey.
She said: ‘You fall into a routine after a while and it comes back to you after you’ve done it once.’
The family of six is now settled back at home in Wellington where the boys are keen on helping with everything except diaper duty
Casey said: ‘You fall into a routine after a while and it comes back to you after you’ve done it once’