Multiple Births

Mom Conceives Two Babies 28 Days Apart, Delivers Them on the Same Day

When Sophie Small, 30, gave birth to her daughters in August 2020, she initially assumed the girls were twins. However, upon further examination, it was determined that Sophie conceived them nearly a month apart.

Infant twins being held by two parents

The first clue was the significant variation in size. Darcy, born first, came in at 4 pounds, 2 ounces. Darcy weighed 6 pounds, 1 ounce at birth. The midwives were baffled; though variation in size among twins is common, there’s usually less of a gap. Further examination by doctors found the reason why—the two girls were conceived at different times.

“Superfetation is so rare in humans that there are only about 10 confirmed cases,” sources at the Cleveland Clinic said. “They’re so unique that when they happen, they often make headlines . . . The chance that you’ll be affected by superfetation is close to zero.”

That’s because the body undergoes hormonal changes once an egg has been fertilized. Still, the phenomenon does occur. Sophie is one of only a handful of women that’s experienced it.

“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.”

She indicated that she was hospitalized eight times for morning sickness.

“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.”

Doctors pinpointed their conceptions to being exactly 28 days apart, meaning Darcy was born at 32 weeks gestation, and Holly was born at 36 weeks. The Britain-based swimming instructor, also mom to a 6-year-old boy named Oscar, says no one believes her insane 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.”

It’s not just their size and gestation periods that are different. Small says her story is complicated even further because the girls are so varied in their appearance and demeanor.

“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.”

Holly was also born with cerebral palsy, which has an effect on the right side of her body. Doctors cannot say whether this was a result of the superfetation. Darcy also suffered from an underdeveloped stomach lining at birth, as she was premature. Because of these complications, Small says she spent the first few months of the girls’ lives in and out of the hospital. Thankfully, both are thriving and doing well now.

“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.”

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About the author


Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done.

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