A North Texas family is celebrating the birth of a rare set of twins.
Rima Aldebbeh and her husband Rami Ramadan of Euless say they were delighted when they found out they'd be welcoming another child to their family of five.
However, they did not expect twins, considering they have no family history of twins.
At the same time Rima received the news she was expecting identical babies, she learned of the rarity of her pregnancy.
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"I was shocked," said Rima.
The babies are monoamniotic-monochorionic twins, which means they developed in a single amniotic sac and shared a placenta.
This situation is very rare and may cause risk to the babies due to cord entanglement and other issues.
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"It occurs in less than 1% of all identical twin pregnancies and less than 0.1% of all pregnancies in general," said OBGYN and Chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics at Baylor Grapevine Dr. Julie Flowers.
"It's a very risky pregnancy. It’s high risk of having issues with the cords. As you can imagine, they’re in the sac together and it can have higher chances of becoming tangled and the blood supply can become cut off."
"A lot of questions came in my head like, 'what’s going to happen?' and, 'are they going live?'" said Rima.
Dr. Flowers said she knew the babies would need constant monitoring as they developed, so Rima was admitted to Baylor Grapevine early into her pregnancy.
She called the hospital "home" for three months. Her friends even hosted her baby shower there.
"I was praying every day, see them monitored three times a day, hear their heartbeat three times a day," said Rima.
Seven weeks before their due date, doctors made the decision to bring the girls into the world.
Raya and Naya weighed three pounds each and miraculously, were both healthy, despite the dangerous entanglement of their umbilical cords.
"It’s a blessing. They are so cute. I can’t wait for them to come home. My kids are dying to see them actually. They have been asking every day, 'when are the babies coming?' They can’t wait to meet them," said Rima.
After an almost three week stay in the neo-natal intensive care unit, the twins were discharged and are now home, making the family of seven complete.