A “super-fertile” mom conceived a second baby just four weeks after getting pregnant with her first — and she didn’t realize until after the infants were born.
Sophie Small, 30, gave birth to daughters Holly and Darcy in August 2020, initially believing the girls were twins.
However, midwives were left baffled by the babies’ different sizes, with Darcy tipping the scales at 4 pounds, 2 ounces and Holly — who was born second — weighing a much heavier 6 pounds, 1 ounce.
Doctors later determined that the girls were actually conceived a month apart due to superfetation — a phenomenon whereby a second pregnancy occurs shortly after the first one.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Superfetation is so rare in humans that there are only about 10 confirmed cases.”
“They’re so unique that when they happen, they often make headlines” the clinic’s info page states. “The chance that you’ll be affected by superfetation is close to zero.”
The clinic claims that a pregnant woman’s body goes through “hormonal changes that make it nearly impossible to become pregnant while a fertilized egg (embryo) is already growing inside the uterus.”
Small — who is one of the handful of women to have experienced the phenomenon — told Kennedy News that her pregnancy was “horrific.”
She suffered extreme morning sickness and was hospitalized eight times in seven weeks.
“I was carrying two babies who were growing at different stages, but we didn’t know that,” the mom stated. “They couldn’t work out why I was so sick. I was expecting twins but one was bigger than the other.”
“They had their own sacs and placentas, so they could feed when they wanted to,” she further explained. “But they [doctors] couldn’t work out why one twin was bigger than the other.”
It was only after the girls were born at such significantly different sizes that medics carried out tests and determined that the babies were not twins at all.
“Darcy was a 32-week baby and Holly was a 36-week baby,” Small declared.
The Britain-based swimming instructor — who is also a mom to 6-year-old son Oscar — says skeptics simply don’t believe her when she tells them the incredible story.
“People think I’m a nutter [crazy] when I explain,” she declared. “They ask how many minutes apart they are, and I say, ‘Darcy is two minutes older and four weeks younger, while Holly was born two minutes after but is four weeks older.’ “
Meanwhile, Small says others don’t even believe the girls are related due to their different appearances and personalities.
“Holly has blond hair, big beautiful blue eyes and wants to be a princess or a jockey,” the mom explained. “Darcy’s hair is a mousey brown hair, she’s a tomboy and wants to be a train driver when she’s older.”
Small says she knew she was ‘”very fertile” because of how quickly she conceived Oscar and believes she ovulated again when she was already pregnant with Holly.
Holly was born with cerebral palsy, which affects the right side of her body, and it’s unclear whether the condition is a result of the superfetation.
Meanwhile, Darcy’s stomach lining hadn’t developed properly at the time of her arrival, given that she born prematurely at 32 weeks.
Small told Kennedy News Service that she spent the first few months of her daughters’ lives in and out of the hospitals, but declared that they are now thriving.
While Holly remains 6 pounds heavier than sister Darcy, the pair are taking on the world.
“They’re very mischievous, fun-loving little girls,” the proud mom declared. “They’re absolutely thriving. They’ve started nursery, and they’re very confident.”
“I had no idea what the future would hold for them when they were born,” she added. “It was so difficult, but we’re so happy and blessed to have them.”