A woman born with two wombs has beat one-in-50-million odds of having twins after conceiving two babies – one in each uterus.
Ashley Calo, 31, was left speechless after her doctor told her would be having twins and that there would be one baby growing in each of her wombs.
The mother-of-three, from Bristol, Connecticut, was born with a rare disorder called uterus didelphys, which means she has two wombs and two cervixes.
New mother Ashley Calo, 31, has two wombs, and last year, she beat one-in-50-million odds to conceive twins, with each baby growing in a separate uterus
In April, she welcomed one boy and one girl, Zoey and Parker, now six months, who were both born at 6lb 6oz.
Ashley, who is also mother to daughter Cassidy, three, said she and her husband Mike, 33, a dental lab technician, never even knew this could be possible.
What is uterus didelphys?
Uterus didelphys, also known as a double uterus, is a condition where a woman is born with two uterus, to separate cervixes and sometimes two vaginas, though this is not always the case.
It occurs because in a female foetus, the uterus starts out as two small tubes.
As the foetus develops, the tubes normally join to create one larger, hollow organ — the uterus.
Sometimes the tubes don’t join completely and each one develops into a separate hollow organ so the woman is born with two wombs.
It often only becomes noticeable after puberty and is diagnosed with a physical exam or an ultrasound scan.
In terms of physical anatomy, the two wombs are often slightly smaller than average in order to fit, though they can be as big as a ‘normal’ womb.
It also makes it possible to be pregnant twice at the same time – with a baby in each womb.
Some women are also born with two vaginas, although they can have sex and menstruate in the same way as people with just one.
But the couple are now happier than ever after the arrival of their twins.
The stay-at-home mother said: ‘I was at my eight week ultrasound when I found out.
‘I gave the technician the usual spiel about how I have a double uterus, just to give her a heads up that she would see one uterus empty.
‘Then she told me that I was having twins, and that one was growing in each womb.
‘My husband and I were shocked, our jaws dropped to the floor. I was in disbelief for about two weeks.
‘It’s so rare, I never thought this could happen to me. I was told it was about a 1 in 50 million chance of this happening.
‘My doctor said it was the first time he had seen this in his 30 years of practising medicine.’
Uterus didelphys is a rare condition that means a woman is born with two uteruses, two cervixes and in some cases, two vaginas.
Because the condition usually does not cause any symptoms, Ashley first discovered that she had a double uterus after undergoing an ultrasound for a kidney infection as a teenager.
About one in about every 2,000 women worldwide have the condition, and about one in the 25,000 women who have uterus didelphys gets pregnant with twins, one to each uterus.
That means the likelihood of any given woman growing two babies in two separate wombs is about one in 50 million.
She explained: ‘I’d gotten a kidney infection, so they did an ultrasound when I was 18 and they found out I had two uteruses.
‘It turns out my father’s mother had the same condition, so I think it skips a generation as none of her daughters have it.
‘I was worried that it might affect my chance at having kids, but thankfully this wasn’t an issue.
In April, Ashley welcomed one boy and one girl, Zoey and Parker, now six months, who were both born at 6lb 6oz
Revealing how she found out about her twins, Ashley said both she and her husband were shocked when they heard she had a baby growing in each uterus
‘I had my daughter Cassidy, and then we decided we’d like to have two kids so we began trying again.
‘And now we got three. It was a lovely surprise, we couldn’t be happier.
‘I wasn’t sure at first if they were technically twins, because usually twins share a uterus.
‘But it just means they had more space and hopefully were extra comfortable!’
There is no real medical name for two babies born at the same time in two different wombs, because it is so rare.
Ashley, who is also mother to daughter Cassidy, three, said she and her husband Mike, 33, a dental lab technician, never even knew this could be possible
As the condition usually does not cause any symptoms, Ashley first discovered that she had a double uterus after undergoing an ultrasound for a kidney infection as a teenager. She welcomed her first child in a ‘normal’ way. She is pictured 18 weeks pregnant
Ashley said due to the rare nature of her condition, it attracts lots of questions from curious friends and family members. She is pictured after giving birth
Ashley’s doctors say they are twins but it could be argued they are not truly twins as they are born in separate wombs.
Ashley said due to the rare nature of her condition, it attracts lots of questions from curious friends and family members.
For a woman with a double uterus to have twins, it requires two separate sperm to latch on two separate eggs, with one egg being in each womb.
The chances of this occurring to any woman is 1 in 50 million, while the chances of this occurring to a woman with a uterus didelphys is 1 in 25,000.
For a woman with a double uterus to have twins, it requires two separate sperm to latch on two separate eggs, with one egg being in each womb, this means the twins are fraternal
Ashley recalled: ‘My mom is hilarious, she always brings it up as family gatherings and wants me to tell the story.
‘Everyone is always so intrigued by it. They have a lot of questions.
‘They think I have a double period, when I don’t – it’s completely normal.
‘With the twins, it was a case of two separate sperm latching on to two separate eggs, one in each uterus.
‘It is crazy to think about, it’s really amazing.’
Ashley said while her first pregnancy was mostly smooth-sailing, her pregnancy with the twins was more difficult.
Ashley said while her first pregnancy was mostly smooth-sailing, her pregnancy with the twins was more difficult. She is pictured with her husband and twins after giving birth
‘We thought our first daughter was going to be a boy, so we thought with this pregnancy we hoped we would get a boy and a girl.
‘I don’t think we could handle three girls, but I don’t think I could have handled two boys either. So it worked out perfectly.
‘I had a C-Section with my daughter, so I thought I’d probably need to have one done again.
‘I did try to ask the doctor if I could have a vaginal birth, but it just wasn’t going to be possible.
For a woman with a double uterus to have twins, it requires two separate sperm to latch on two separate eggs, with one egg being in each womb. The twins are pictured
Ashley, pictured with Zoey, said she was glad the twins are made up of one boy and one girl as she couldn’t handle two of the same
‘The pregnancy with the twins was far more taxing on my body. I was always hungry and was constantly eating, they were just consuming everything I ate.
‘On the day I gave birth, there were about 20 people in the room.
‘It was during the pandemic, so everyone had to wear a mask and we couldn’t have visitors. I was in the hospital for four days before going home.’
‘We were both so worried something might go wrong during the entire pregnancy.
‘I was nervous at the start, but thankfully as they both reached all their milestones and I knew it was all going to be fine.’
Ashley said she was ‘always hungry and was constantly eating’ when pregnant with the twins but her first pregnancy was ‘easy’
As she gave birth during the pandemic, Ashley wasn’t able to have visitors in the hospital when she welcomed twins in April
Pictured: The twins Zoey and Parker. Ashley says they are ‘great babies’ and ‘each have their own personality
‘We’re so happy with our little family. Cassidy is such an amazing big sister.
‘Mike is a great dad, once he got over the initial shock of having two babies with one in each womb, he was so excited.
‘They’re such great babies, and each have their own little personalities that grow bigger every day.
‘We couldn’t be happier with our family and it will be a fun story to tell them about mommy’s double uterus when they’re older!’
Ashley added the couple couldn’t be happier with their family and she will tell her children about her double uterus when they’re older
Pictured: Husband Mike and the twins Zoey and Parker. The pair were born in April and grew in a different uterus