I got pregnant with twins while ALREADY pregnant with another child I conceived a week


A Pennsylvania woman who was already pregnant conceived twins one week later — a one-in-a-billion medical anomaly.

Deonna Fletcher, a marketing coordinator in Philadelphia, experienced superfetation, meaning she had gotten pregnant twice within a week.

The first embryo was conceived six days before the other two, in an event so rare the Cleveland Clinic says, ‘your chance of experiencing superfetation is near zero.’

There are only about 10 confirmed cases in the world and all of them involved two children conceived at different times.

Ms Fletcher felt like ‘everything had fallen into place’ after she and her fiancé, Antonio Livington, found out they were expecting a baby in 2019. 

Deonna Fletcher, a marketing consultant in Philadelphia, became pregnant twice within six days. She gave birth to three daughters on January 18, 2021

Deonna Fletcher, a marketing consultant in Philadelphia, became pregnant twice within six days. She gave birth to three daughters on January 18, 2021

Doctors believe that Ms Fletcher ovulated twice, which allowed the twins to be conceived after their older sister of six days

Doctors believe that Ms Fletcher ovulated twice, which allowed the twins to be conceived after their older sister of six days

About four weeks into her pregnancy, she had a transvaginal ultrasound, which revealed one fetus. 

However, about two weeks later, she started experiencing ‘terrible’ pains in her lower abdomen. She worried that she was having a miscarriage and rushed to the emergency room. 

A second transvaginal ultrasound revealed two more babies – Ms Fletcher was having triplets. 

”How can that be possible?’ I asked the person doing the sonogram,’ she told Insider. ‘The previous scan had been very thorough. There’d been no doubt there was just one baby.’ 

However, Ms Fletcher had experienced irregular periods her whole life. 

Sometimes, she would have two per month, and other times, she wouldn’t have one at all. The doctor said that she must have ovulated twice, allowing for multiple pregnancies.

‘Antonio and I were shocked,’ she said. ‘There was a lot to process. We’d never heard of getting pregnant when you’re already pregnant. But the doctors went on to confirm that it was a case of superfetation.’ 

This happens when a woman experiences two menstrual cycles back to back, each resulting in a pregnancy. For this to happen, the woman’s body would release an egg during her first cycle. After having sex, that egg would become fertilized and turn into an embryo. The embryo then implants into the uterine lining.

During the next period, the same thing takes place, and the new embryo joins the one already growing in the uterus. 

Typically, hormones change during pregnancy to prevent ovulation, which is when the ovaries release an egg. 

Superfetation is so rare that experts aren’t sure what causes it. Most cases involve the use of assistive reproductive technologies (ART), which includes fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF), but it’s still extremely unlikely with those methods. 

Ms Fletcher and her partner, Antonio Livington, welcomed a baby boy, Antonio Junior, in October 2022. The couple have said that they aren't planning on having any more children

Ms Fletcher and her partner, Antonio Livington, welcomed a baby boy, Antonio Junior, in October 2022. The couple have said that they aren’t planning on having any more children

The girls - Dream, Amani, and Amber - are all 'perfectly healthy' and 'a bundle of energy,' Ms Fletcher said

The girls – Dream, Amani, and Amber – are all ‘perfectly healthy’ and ‘a bundle of energy,’ Ms Fletcher said

In Ms Fletcher’s case, the two ‘younger’ babies turned out to be identical twins. ‘A specialist said that my pain early on was related to my uterus expanding so rapidly,’ she said. ‘It had needed to make room for three babies.’

Six months into the pregnancies, both of her waters broke, and she was put on bed rest for about two months. On January 18, 2021, she gave birth to three girls: Dream, Amani, and Amber. 

Dream, who was the first to be conceived, weighed three pounds. Twins Amber and Amani were three and four pounds heavier, respectively. 

The triplets spent more than a month in the NICU, though all are ‘perfectly healthy’ now at two and a half years old. ‘They are a bundle of energy,’ Ms Fletcher said. 

Ms Fletcher and Mr Livington also welcomed a baby boy, Antonio Junior, in October 2022. They do not plan to have any more children.

‘It’s tiring, but it’s fun. Still, Antonio, a photographer, and I are done in terms of having more kids,’ Ms Fletcher said. 

‘Three girls — two of whom were very unexpected — and a baby boy are more than enough.’

WHAT IS SUPERFETATION? THE RARE CONDITION THAT CAUSES A PREGNANT WOMEN TO CONCEIVE TWICE

Superfetation is the rare phenomenon when a woman becomes pregnant with another child while already pregnant.

This occurs when an egg is fertilized by sperm and implants itself in the womb for a second time just days or weeks after the process happened for the first time.

It is extremely rare, with only a few cases ever reported in medical literature – in the UK, Italy and Canada.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy usually block three key processes required to become pregnant again: 

  1. Ovulation: Body stops releasing eggs from the ovaries during the menstrual cycle 
  2.  Fertilization: Body creates a mucus barrier in the cervix that blocks sperm from fertilizing any extra eggs that are released 
  3. Implantation: The hormones required for a fertilized egg to stick to the womb are not usually released when a woman is already pregnant

The tiny chance of these three processes happening in one person means almost all superfetation cases recorded have been in women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). 

During the treatment, a fertilized egg is transferred into a woman’s womb. Superfetation can occur if a woman is already pregnant, or becomes pregnant naturally in the days or weeks after this treatment. 

It is hard to diagnose, as the presence of two fetuses in the womb is usually assumed to be twins. The main feature of superfetation is the two fetuses growing at different rates.

But there are more common reasons for babies growing at different rates. 

Superfetation can increase the risk of complications for the younger baby, as it is at higher risk of being born prematurely.

Babies born through superfetation are often born on the same day, they are not officially twins. 

Twins are either identical — when a single egg splits in two after being fertilized — or non-identical, when two separate eggs are released and fertilized by different sperm and implanted into the womb.



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