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Have you ever heard of this phenomenon that a woman can get pregnant while already being pregnant? Well, according to medical history, such a phenomenon exists, and as a result, a UK woman named Rebecca Roberts, aged 39, who lives in Wiltshire, England got pregnant while already being pregnant under this condition called ‘superfetation’.
Rebecca Roberts and her partner were struggling with infertility for more than a year, so later when they got a positive result, they experienced boundless joy. When Roberts went for her first ultrasound, her obstetrician wrote on her chart that she is going to be the mother of a single child.
“I remember walking away from the very first scan so happy,” tells Roberts. But later, her excitement peculiarly shifted to shock five weeks later at her 12-week ultrasound appointment, when the sonographer spotted something confounding! The couple came to know that Roberts was suddenly carrying two babies – one of which was considerably less-developed than the other. Silence filled the whole room afterward!
“I thought something awful had happened,” Roberts said.
“The sonographer looked at me and said, ‘Do you know you’re expecting twins?’ ”
Later, Roberts learned that she wasn’t having a typical set of twin babies. Her pregnancy was diagnosed as superfetation, a rare condition in which a woman who is already pregnant conceives another baby.
Roberts’s pregnancy is a rare superfetation case recorded in the medical literature
Rebecca Roberts’s obstetrician, David Walker, said that her pregnancy is one of the few superfetation cases recorded in the medical literature. Superfetation is so uncommon that David struggled to diagnose it. In his 25 years working as an obstetrician, Roberts’s case was something David had never encountered before.
“It just doesn’t happen,” David said, adding that it took several scans before he could confidently diagnose the condition.
David explains that he had numerous concerns because the second twin was much smaller. He could trace the rate of growth of the second twin baby through regular scanning and seeing where they found that the smaller twin was three weeks younger. Therefore, they became sure that it was a case of superfetation.
The actual number of superfetation cases is not known, but according to a report published in 2008 in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, it can be observed that fewer than 10 cases of the phenomenon had been recorded.
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Commonly, hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy prevent another conception from occurring, but that was not the case for Roberts! Her obstetrician, David Walker, also explains that instead of stopping ovulation during her pregnancy, Roberts released another egg about three or four weeks after the first one, and the egg somehow miraculously managed to fertilize and implant in her uterus.
Although Roberts was on fertility medication to stimulate ovulation, Walker said he’s “not convinced” that the medication which can increase the chances of having multiples is something that caused the superfetation. “Roberts didn’t release two eggs at the same time, which is what the medication normally does, but there was no other way of proving it one way or another”, also claims David Walker.
While Walker was initially concerned about how Robert’s pregnancy would progress, he said that the rate of growth for both of the babies was good, which was relieving.
When Roberts and her husband came to know of the diagnosis of Superfetation, they were in a state of massive shock!
Roberts and her husband, Rhys Weaver, aged 43, were in a state of massive shock on hearing David Walker about the diagnosis. Roberts explains that while getting back home they took the help of the internet to research more on the matter. Surfing the Web, she said, proved mostly ineffectual because there are minimal data and a few examples of successful superfetation pregnancies. The condition is so rare that alleged cases are sometimes met with cynicism.
“There is very little information because this is not supposed to happen,” Weaver said.
“It was just crazy news.”
While it might not have been the pregnancy that Roberts might have expected, after years of longing for another child, she was thrilled to have not just one but two babies on her way.
Challenges that associated Roberts’s delivery
Given the oddity of the condition, coupled with Roberts’s age and the common risks associated with carrying twins, her pregnancy brought some challenges, particularly during the third trimester. She and her partner were told that the younger baby might not survive.
“Anything that can go wrong with pregnancy is more common with twin pregnancies, but with a three-week difference, you don’t want to compromise the smaller twin by delivering too early. You have to keep a really close eye. The delivery was crucial in this case”, said David Walker.
Roberts was aware of the fact that preterm labor was probable, hence she was worried regarding the safety of her smaller baby. At just over 33 weeks into her pregnancy, the smaller fetus’s umbilical cord was not functioning normally, which started to affect the baby’s growth. Doctors decided it was the time that her delivery must be done!
Although Roberts’s children had different due dates, she had a cesarean section and gave birth to both babies on 17th September 2020. Noah came first, weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces, and two minutes later, his younger sister, Rosalie, arrived, weighing 2 pounds, 7 ounces.
“We got to see both of them as soon as they were born,” Roberts said.
“It was absolutely beautiful.”
One of the best feelings for Roberts and her husband
As soon as Roberts’s babies were born, both got shifted away to the neonatal intensive care unit. Noah remained in the hospital for over three weeks, while Rosalie stayed for 95 days.
Roberts and her partner drove to the hospital every day to visit their children until Christmas 2020 when they were given the go-ahead to bring Rosalie home.
“We could finally get on and start our lives. It felt like we were on hold having them in the hospital,” said Roberts, who designs children’s clothing.
Roberts now explains that taking care of both of her twins, who are now almost 6 months older has not been easy, especially, during these unprecedented times of COVID and work from home schedule, but she feels overwhelmed to watch her babies grow.
Due to pregnant superfetation, Roberts’s twins were born on the same day, their age difference is clearly noticeable!
Roberts and her partner have been documenting their babies’ growth over the past few months on an Instagram page, and thousands of people around the world, fascinated by their story, are following them!
– Graphical Content and Written Content Prepared By Kashish Rai (Twitter: @KaafyyFilmyy)
Hackers have stolen crypto tokens worth $120 million from Blockchain-based decentralised finance (DeFi) platform BadgerDAO. Several crypto wallets were drained before the platform could stop the cyber attack. In a tweet, Badger said it has received reports of unauthorised withdrawals of user funds. "As Badger engineers investigate this, all smart contracts have been paused to prevent further withdrawals. Our investigation is ongoing and we will release further information as soon as possible," the company said late on Thursday.
According to the blockchain security and data analytics Peckshield, the various tokens stolen in the attack are worth about $120 million, reports The Verge. According to reports, someone inserted a malicious script in the user interface (UI) of their website. Badger has retained data forensics experts Chainalysis to explore the full scale of the incident and authorities in both the US and Canada have been informed. "Badger is cooperating fully with external investigations as well as proceeding with its own," it said. DeFi is a collective term for financial products and services that are open, decentralised and accessible to anyone. DeFi products open up financial services to anyone with an internet connection and they are largely owned and maintained by their users. While the attack didn't reveal specific flaws within Blockchain tech itself, it managed to exploit the older "web 2.0" technology that most users need to use to perform transactions, according to reports. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: crypto wallets, BadgerDAO, decentralised finance, Blockchain, 120 million, crypto tokens, Hackers)
A total of 120 top Bollywood and other celebrities are expected to attend the wedding of film stars Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal which is scheduled on December 9 in Rajasthan, said Rajendra Kishan, the District Collector (DC) of Sawai Madhopur district of the state on Friday. The District Collector told mediapersons: "These 120 guests shall follow all COVID-19 protocols and fully vaccinated guests will get entry in the much-hyped celebrity wedding."
Kishan said that the organisers have been asked to strictly follow all Covid-19 protocols. Also, those who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed without the negative RT-PCR test report, he added. "We have been informed by organisers that a total of 120 guests are invited to the wedding and the events will take place between December 7 to December 10," he added.
Earlier at 10.30 a.m., Kishan called a meeting which was attended by administrative, police and forest department officials, hotel and event managers to ensure adequate arrangements for crowd control, smooth regulation of traffic, and law and order situation amid the VIP movement. The wedding venue Fort Barwara, that has been converted into a heritage hotel, is situated in the panchayat samiti Chauth Ka Barwara. The venue is around 22 km away from Sawai Madhopur and is around 174 km from Jaipur. Sawai Madhopur district is famous for the Ranthambore National Tiger Reserve and as per reports, the guests are likely to be taken for a tiger safari. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Rajasthan, December 9, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, film stars, celebrities, Bollywood, Katrina-Vicky)
The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), which confirmed the first two cases of the Omicron variant in Bengaluru on Thursday, is continuously monitoring the situation in four cities - Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, and Pune. The NCBS is a part of a consortium of national laboratories performing genomic surveillance across four city clusters. The consortium was established four months ago with support from The Rockefeller Foundation's Pandemic Prevention Institute, and is led by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) in Hyderabad.
Dr Rakesh Mishra at the CCMB said on Friday that the consortium is continuously monitoring the situation in all the four cities and has upscaled its efforts to sequence as many samples as possible Apart from the CCMB and the NCBS, the consortium includes CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology - IGIB in New Delhi and the Pune Knowledge Cluster, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, and CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory in Pune.
The first case of the Omicron variant was detected in South Africa and reported to the World Health Organization on November 24. | Unsplash
The consortium is focused on upscaling genomic surveillance as part of national efforts led by the INSACOG - Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium - to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consortium intensified its sequencing efforts after the World Health Organisation announced Omicron as a Variant of Concern. Such an intensified effort enabled the Bengaluru team at the NCBS, a member laboratory of INSACOG, in collaboration with Strand Life Sciences and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), to detect, rapidly sequence and verify the existence of the omicron variant in samples from two Covid-19 infected individuals.
They hope this will aid in a rapid response to contain the spread of variants of concern. Prof Satyajit Mayor from the NCBS conveyed the information to local and national authorities, and the Indian government released a statement on December 2, all within four days of receiving the samples. Both SARS-CoV-2 genomes have also been uploaded to the global repository for SARS-CoV-2 sequences, GISAID, so that they can be publicly available to the scientific community, the NCBS said. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, The National Centre for Biological Sciences, Situation, NCBS, Omicron)