A newborn baby girl has undergone an emergency caesarean section after she was born ‘pregnant’ with her own twin.
Mónica Vega of Barranquilla, Colombia, gave birth to Itzmara at 37 weeks, with the little girl being delivered by caesarean section.
Within just 24 hours of her arrival, Itzmara also had to undergo a C-section, having been found to have a rare condition known as fetus in fetu.
Fetus in fetu occurs when twins are conceived but the embryo doesn’t divide properly. This division usually happens during the very first week of gestation, with second week division resulting in Siamese twins.
Fetus in fetu can happen if the embryo division doesn’t take place until after 17 days, resulting in one ‘parasitic’ twin being absorbed within the body of the other.
This extraordinarily rare condition is only found once in every one million pregnancies and usually goes unnoticed until after the baby is born.
In this case, Mónica found out about the condition when she was seven months into her pregnancy, with an ultrasound revealing two umbilical cords, Mamas Latinas reports.
One umbilical cord connected the unborn Itzmara to Mónica, while the other connected Itzmara to a mass growing within her body. It was subsequently discovered that a parasitic twin was growing inside Itzmara’s abdomen.
At this point, doctors decided to deliver Itzmara early through C-section, with concerns the parasitic twin could continue to grow and damage Itzmara’s internal organs.
The parasitic twin – which did not have a heart or brain – would not have been able to survive on its own. The tissue was only being kept alive as it was getting nutrition from Itzmara’s heart.
Thankfully, Itzmara is said to be doing well following her C-section, which is known to be a high risk procedure when performed on newborn infants.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.