ANKENY, Iowa - An Ankeny woman went into a walk-in clinic with stomach pains and received a double dose of news she never expected: Not only was she told she was pregnant, but she found out she was carrying a rare set of twins.
Now, Shelby Magnani and James Croskey are embracing their news roles as parents. It's a role they didn't plan for ... and had no idea was coming.
"I had really sharp pain in my left side and went into the doctor, and they said 'we think you might be pregnant.' They told me I was six months and told me to get down to the ER. They did an ultrasound and told me it was twins," says Shelby Magnani.
Her fiance James Croskey was shocked to hear the news as well.
"It's pretty nuts, still sinking in."
Also sinking in is the fact that the twins are already beating some very long odds.
"About one to two percent of all pregnancies are twins but even rarer than that is monoamniotic twins. They have one placenta and one amniotic sac and both of those twins share the placenta as well as the sac," says Dr. Jennifer Krupp with Perinatal Center of Iowa.
Dr. Krupp says less than one percent of all twins are monoamniotic and those babies face serious complications including a fifty-percent survival rate.
"The entanglement of the cords is what we worry about. We bring the patients into the hospital at 24 to 26 weeks, so we can monitor the babies several times a day, because we know the risk of one or both of those babies dying is fairly significant," says Dr. Krupp.
Magnani and Croskey realize how different things could have turned out.
"I'm still trying to process. It's crazy how high risk mono-mono twins can be, and how good they're doing now, it's really a blessing," says Magnani.
Ava and Anna were delivered by C-section on Thursday, weighing just four and three pounds each.
The girls will spend the next several weeks in the NICU at Mercy, but other than some monitoring, they are expected to be okay.
"They're both just little miracles, it could have been so many things that went wrong that didn't," says Magnani.
Magnani and Croskey missed out on the worst part of having monamniotic twins: the worry. Now, they can just focus on the best part -- parenting two beautiful little girls.
"I love them, I love them more than anything," says Croskey.
Doctors expect Anna and Ava to be able to go home in a couple weeks.
Croskey and Magnani are both attending classes at DMACC for automotive technology and hope to open their own business following graduation.
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