Atrium Health patient story

Primary Care, Child Health | one month ago

Six Babies, Three Rare Pregnancies, and One Special Group of Friends

Only 1 in 8,000 pregnancies will be with monoamniotic twins, or MoMo twins. Yet three mothers with the same OB-GYN had MoMo twins within just three months.

Dr. Michael Jones, an OB-GYN with Atrium Health Women’s Care, hosted a one-of-a-kind reunion for six patients and their parents. The patients were three sets of infant monoamniotic twins, or MoMo twins. The three parents were moms who had navigated high-risk pregnancies and reunited to celebrate their healthy, happy babies. What brought these 10 people together was so odds-defying that it seems nearly miraculous.

MoMo twins, which share the same amniotic sac within their mother’s uterus, account for just 1 in 8,000 pregnancies. Just 1% of all identical twins will be MoMo twins. Jones, who has practiced as an OB-GYN for 32 years, has only seen three sets of MoMo twins his entire career. Until last year, that is.

To say that 2022 was a remarkable year for Jones is an understatement. Three sets of MoMo twins were born within three months at Atrium Health, and they all had the same OB-GYN: Jones.

“The funny thing is we had three moms that were pregnant with MoMo twins all at the same time,” Jones says. “That will never, never happen again.”

The Risks of a Momo Twin Pregnancy

Having two umbilical cords in one amniotic sac creates serious risks. As the twins move, they can twist their umbilical cords or wrap them around each other. Those cords deliver oxygen to the babies, and too tight of a twist can cut off that oxygen. Jones and the care team not only carefully monitored the babies throughout the pregnancies, but they cared for the moms’ physical and emotional well-being, too.

“Up until I could feel the babies move, I was always holding my breath, like, ‘Okay, we’ve just got to make it to the next ultrasound.’ And, luckily, you have a lot of ultrasounds when you have a high-risk pregnancy,” says Summer Morrison, mom to twins Ivy and Ada. “I saw my doctors almost every week, so it was nice to just check in with them to make sure the twins were doing okay.”

“It was really scary. The whole pregnancy was scary,” says Vakoya Miller, mom to twins Raleigh and Saylor.

Vakoya had two miscarriages before this pregnancy, adding to her fear.

“I’m really grateful for the team of nurses and doctors at the hospital,” says Vakoya. They made sure we were OK every day mentally.”

MoMo twins require extra attention and monitoring. Through the three pregnancies, Jones and his team worked closely with Dr. Kelecia Brown of Atrium Health Women’s Care Maternal Fetal Medicine, an OB-GYN who cares for high-risk babies – and who, coincidentally, is also a mom of identical twins.

“We recommend that these patients get admitted to the hospital at about 24 to 28 weeks for a more intensive monitoring of the babies, just to watch their heart rates to make sure that they’re not dropping because of a significant cord entanglement,” Brown says.

Brown and her team checked on the twins and their moms throughout each day.

For Summer, getting admitted to the hospital came as a relief.

“Once I was admitted to the hospital, I felt a lot better because I was being monitored nonstop,” she says.

That monitoring protocol is the reason Keaira Davis delivered her twins Remi and Rayne two days earlier than expected. Doctors discovered that the cords had wrapped around the babies, so they changed the delivery plans to make sure that everyone would be healthy.

“Everybody did great,” Jones says. “We were watching the babies closely and the odds are really good for them to do well when they’re watched that closely – and they all did well.”

MoMo Moms Unite

When Summer learned that Keaira was in the hospital at the same time she was, she had to introduce herself. Summer passed a note to Keaira through her nurse. Summer and Keaira met Vakoya through a MoMo Facebook group. The three became friends who could understand each other like few could. 

“It's very nice to have support, especially with other ladies who got to experience the same thing that I did,” Keaira says. “We have a lot to relate to with each other.”

During the reunion, the three moms and their doctor watched the active, healthy babies have fun meeting each other. For three pregnancies that defied the odds, the normalcy of the moment came as a welcome relief.

“They’re just happy little girls,” Summer says. “And it’s just a blessing.”