Iowa mother pregnant with rare set of monoamniotic twins

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Iowa Mother Pregnant with Rare Set of Twins

By Kim St. Onge

ANKENY, Iowa - Ankeny mother Amanda Kuhl was already surprised to learn she was pregnant again, but never expected that this time around she'd be spending eight weeks of her pregnancy in the hospital.

Every day for the past two weeks, three times a day for an hour each time, Kuhl has an electronic fetal monitor hooked up to her stomach hoping the doctors hear two heart beats.

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Iowa mom pregnant with rare mono twins
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Iowa mother pregnant with rare set of monoamniotic twins
Ankeny mother Amanda Kuhl was already surprised to learn she was pregnant again, but never expected this time around she'd be spending eight weeks of her pregnancy in the hospital.
Monoamniotic twins are always identical, share the same amniotic sac and placenta, but they have separate umbilical cords. It's a rare pregnancy that requires mothers to be admitted to the hospital and intensely monitored once they hit 24 weeks.
The good news is, doctors said Kuhl and her babies are perfectly healthy.
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"Not a lot of people get the opportunity to sit and listen to their heartbeat for hours before they're born," Kuhl said.

Kuhl will spend another six weeks at Mercy Medical Center's Maternity Triage and Treatment Unit before her monoamniotic twins are born.

Dr. Michael Cardwell, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, said a pregnancy like Kuhl's happens in one out of every 35,000 deliveries.

Monoamniotic twins are always identical and share the same amniotic sac and placenta, but they have separate umbilical cords. It's a rare pregnancy that requires mothers to be admitted to the hospital and intensely monitored once they hit 24 weeks.

"We worry about umbilical entanglement, and we also worry about the two babies sharing the same placenta so one baby may get more of the blood supply than the other baby," Cardwell said.

At 32 weeks, doctors do a Caesarean section, meaning the babies are usually delivered eight weeks premature.

Kuhl said that explaining why she's in the hospital for so long to her 6 and 4-year-old kids has been hard.

"It's just stressful the unknown. That's been the biggest part of all of this," Kuhl said.

Still, it's a stressful situation she looks at as a blessing in disguise and a rare opportunity to hear the heart beats of her two baby girls every single day.

"It's kind of like I'm bonding already more so than just being pregnant," she said.

The good news is, doctors said Kuhl and her babies are perfectly healthy.

Monoamniotic twins (or 'mono mono') twins have captured our attention many times before. Remember these sweet little ones who were inseparable even after birth?

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Rare Mono Mono Twins Inseparable at 6 Months Old
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Iowa mother pregnant with rare set of monoamniotic twins
The photo of Jenna and Jillian Thistlethwaite holding hands just after birth drew worldwide attention. Six months later, the twins are thriving and the global attention has died down, but the siblings still inseparable.
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