Mum with two vaginas and two wombs gives birth to 'miracle twins'

Photo: Lauren Cotter / Facebook
Photo: Lauren Cotter / Facebook 

When Lauren Cotter went to the doctor about her heavy periods, she was shocked to learn she had two vaginas, two cervixes and a double uterus.

Two must be the Melbourne mum's lucky number - defying all odds, she then successfully conceived and carried two children, then doubled up again with twins.

Lauren suspected there was a problem when she began her periods at age 14 and they were unusually heavy and painful. She assumed it could be polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but she was diagnosed instead with uterus​ didelphys.

This rare condition affects around one in 3,000 women and occurs when a woman's uterus fails to fuse properly during development.

Lauren was also told that her condition could make it difficult to gestate and deliver a baby.

Fortunately, 34-year-old Lauren went on to have Amelie, five, and Harvey, three, followed by twin girls conceived while Lauren was fitted with a contraceptive implant. Maya and Evie are now 15-months-old.

Knowing her partner Ben, 33, wanted to be a dad someday, Lauren knew she had to tell him the news that she might not be able to easily conceive, carry and birth a child.

"I knew I had to be open and honest and tell him that might not be a possibility for me," said Lauren, who has been with Ben since they met at age 17.

"Luckily he wasn't bothered. We talked it through and agreed that there was more than one way to have a baby if you wanted it badly enough," she told That's Life.

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A post shared by Morgan Tellez (@morgtellez_) on

Their journey to parenthood though, was far easier than either of them anticipated.

Lauren fell pregnant with daughter Amelie in the first month of trying in October 2013, and she was born on June 12, 2014. Lauren had carried her in her right uterus with no issues, despite being told she had a high chance of miscarriage or stillbirth.

Eighteen months later the couple tried for a second baby and were pregnant within two months. Harvey gestated in the left uterus, surprising his mother.

"I carried Amelie in my right, and just assumed the left one was a dud," she said.

The baby boy was born prematurely at 33 weeks, but was home after three weeks in hospital.

Following her two successful pregnancies Lauren was fitted with a contraceptive implant. The pill had given her migraines so her doctor suggested the implant was the best option.

Within three weeks of the implant being fitted, Lauren was pregnant with twin girls.

"Shocked doesn't begin to cover it. During 17 years together, Ben and I had only ever got pregnant when we'd planned it. Now, here we were, having surprise twins."

Lauren was put on bed rest from 19 weeks gestation as doctors were very concerned about whether a twin pregnancy could be carried long enough to ensure their survival.

Maya and Evie were delivered by c-section at 37 weeks on June 5, 2018, weighing 2.6kg and 2.4kg.

Hours after the delivery, the couple's joy turned to concern after Evie began to struggle to breathe. Shortly afterwards she was diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia - a condition where the intestines are positioned the chest cavity.

Evie underwent keyhole surgery at five days old and even though she only had a 50 per cent chance of survival, she was home after just three weeks, and is now enjoying life as an active 15-month-old.

Lauren describes her life as "crazy, hectic and amazing," but she wouldn't have it any other way.

Lauren had her tubes tied to avoid any more surprise babies saying, "Ben and I are one super fertile couple, and now we're happy with things just as they are."