Christmas Miracle for Rare Twins

This occurs in less than one percent of twins in the U.S. but results in a mortality rate of 20 percent.


When adorable newborn twins Kate and Annie Carlson shared a womb they truly shared it, including a single amnioic sac. That’s highly unusual. Typically, a membrane grows between twins providing each with their own sacs. It’s also extremely dangerous—twenty percent of single-sac pregnancies result in the death of a baby because of tangled umbilical cords.

Kate and Annie’s start in life was rocky. Their cords got tied together in a knot, threatening both girls. With their heart rates dropping, they were delivered by emergency caesarean section on Nov. 7– ten weeks prematurely—at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

“With no membrane dividing them, the obstetrician has to balance the risk of prematurity with the risk of a cord event,” Susan Crowe, MD, said. “But, thanks to the excellent care our NICU gives our high-risk cases and preemies, we expect very good outcomes if we have to deliver them early.”

Mom and Dad are first-time parents Kevin and Allison Carlson of Menlo Park.

“We’re really grateful,” Kevin said. “Despite the chaos surrounding our delivery and pregnancy, Packard Children’s really put us at ease with their experience and expertise, and it’s one of the best holiday gifts a family could ever ask for.”

The girls will spend their first Christmas in the hospital but should go home somewhere around New Year’s Day. We’re told the girls’ nursery is decorated in pink, and the family dog is already on guard in their room.


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Stacie Chan December 12, 2012 at 07:21 PM
Truly a Christmas miracle. What a great story around this time of year!
Ali Kagawa Koide December 12, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Thanks for this article on these tiny miracles! Way to go Lucile Packard Children's Hospital staff!


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