A woman who was born with a double uterus, or uterine didelphys, gave birth to two girls who were born at 22 weeks. Sadly, one passed shortly after birth, but the other survived and was the hospital's youngest gestationally born baby.

According to an interview with Good Morning America, Megan Phipps knew something was different with her most recent pregnancy. She'd had two children before, both carried in her 'right' uterus. Born with uterine didelphys, she had two cervices and two uteruses. She'd been under the impression her 'left' uterus wasn't active.

But when she went to her OBGYN, she was referred to a specialist who told her that she was pregnant and had a baby in both her right AND left uterus. In June, this rare condition led her to be admitted to Bryan Health Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, after she noticed spotting and was in 'excruciating' pain. She was only 22 weeks at the time.

Initially, it was thought her cervix was shortening, but she was actually giving birth at 22 weeks. She was rushed to delivery and neonatologists told her that the girls she was carrying would maybe have a 1% chance of survival. Dr. Mark Brisso is the neonatologist who treated the babies at the NICU and said that they typically follow the parent's wishes to resuscitate and care for premature babies, but they do discuss the significant complications that are associated with severe prematurity. For those babies born between 22 and 23 weeks, about 1% survived without neurodevelopmental issues.

Phipps decided she wanted to give her babies all the chances she could. On June 11, she gave birth to Riley and Reece, who both weighed under a pound. Riley fought valiantly but passed away 12 days later.

Several months later, Reece weighed five pounds and had received over a dozen blood transfusions. She'd been on a ventilator for 45 days and grew to be stronger and stronger. She stayed in NICU for 144 days. Bryan Health is the seventh facility in the US to host a baby born at under 23 weeks gestation and discharge them. Dr. Brisso called it another evolution for NICU knowing they can care for and successfully discharge babies born so prematurely.

Reece was discharged on November 2, 2021, weighing over 8 pounds.

Her mother wants her story shared, and for mothers to know that anything is possible and there is always hope--NICU miracles CAN happen!

Image: Megan Phipps