Real Life

Double-womb mum’s miracle twins

A happy update on Christchurch mother Liz Breach's amazing pregnancy.

After a nerve-wracking pregnancy with a twin in each of her two wombs, Liz Breach finally has her beautiful babies home for a happy family Christmas. Little Jack and Ysabella are only the fifth set of twins in the world born to a double-wombed mum, where a baby was carried in each uterus.

During the 29 weeks she was pregnant, Liz knew the odds were stacked against both of her babies surviving the highly unusual pregnancy. They eventually arrived 11 weeks early, after two separate caesareans, and proved they were fi ghters right from the start.

Ysabella was in the larger of Liz’s two wombs and weighed just 1.29kg, (2lbs 13oz), while Jack was 1.69kg (3lbs 11oz). “It’s so wonderful to have them home at last,” says Liz (32), of Christchurch, as she holds a twin in each arm. “They were in hospital for 60 days after they were born, which was tough, but they did so well and now we’re all together as a family for Christmas.”

Liz’s extremely rare condition, called uterus didelphys, was discovered when she was a teenager. With two separate wombs, complete with a cervix each, she was told having children would be virtually impossible. That didn’t stop Liz and her husband Jason (39), who work in the family business making products for boats, from trying for children.

They were delighted when Liz was able to carry their two sons Trent (7) and Logan (3). Sadly, a little girl they called oaddison was born at 22 weeks and died. Earlier this year, Liz was shocked when she was told she was pregnant with twins, with one in each of her wombs. The chances of this happening, and both babies arriving safely, is believed to be five million to one – and a first for New Zealand.

After weeks of careful monitoring by medical experts, and support from her husband and family, Liz gave birth to her babies in September. “Because the boys were born early, and needed a lot of check-ups, I knew that the pregnancy would be a very long road for us as a family,” she says.

Liz hoped to give birth naturally, which meant that each womb could have gone into labour individually, and the twins could have been born on different days. But when the babies showed they were ready to emerge, doctors opted for the double caesarean. The twins ended up being born just minutes apart.

Liz says she felt calm during the ordeal. “I was feeling quite comfortable. I was more worried about the babies than me, but because the operations went as planned, that made things much easier.” Liz was able to visit her babies in the special care unit almost straightaway and was hugely relieved when told how well they were doing.

“I had to see for myself that they were okay. When I found out that they had survived and were in a healthy state, I felt much better,” she says. The babies have kept the personalities I felt like they had before they were born. Jack is quite boisterous and strong, while Ysabella is quieter and more reserved. “Well, she usually is,” laughs Liz, as Ysabella cries during the photo shoot.

“The older boys simply love having the new twins around, and now that they’re here for Christmas, there’s a few more presents under the tree.” Holding Ysabella in the crook of one arm and a snoozing Jack in the other, Liz says motherhood is the best job in the world. “To be told when you’re younger that you’re going to have trouble getting pregnant, then to have four healthy children, is amazing,” she says. “It’s just great to be at the end of the journey with a complete family.”

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