A US mother has made history by giving birth to two sets of identical twins in one day, beating the odds of one in 70 million.

Thirty-six-year-old Tressa Montalvo from Texas got a quadruple Valentine’s Day gift as she gave birth to Ace, Blaine, Cash and Dylan at the Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston.

Ace and Blaine were born first weighing 3 pounds, 10 ounces, and 3 pounds, 15 ounces, respectively, the hospital said.

Cash and Dylan were a minute later and weighed 2 pounds, 15 ounces and 3 pounds, 6 ounces. All four were born by caesarean section, ‘CNN News’ reported.

“We tried to stick to the A—B—C—D theme when naming them,” Montalvo said in a statement issued by the hospital.

The twins were not the result of fertility treatments.

Montalvo learnt she was carrying the twins at 10 weeks, the hospital said.

A third heartbeat was found at a doctor’s visit later, and the woman was referred to a maternal foetal medicine specialist, Dr Brian Kirshon.

“We couldn’t have been more surprised when Dr Kirshon told us we were having four babies and that they were two sets of twins,” her husband Manuel said.

The hospital said each pair of twins shared a placenta.

Identical twins result when a fertilised egg splits into two embryos. Twins occur in about 2 per cent of all pregnancies. Of those, 30 per cent are identical twins, according to the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

The odds of having two sets of twins at once is about 1 in 70 million, said Dr Alan Penzias, associate professor of obstetrics, gynaecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School.

The boys were all born at 31 weeks’ gestation, so they face some health risks, as their immune systems are not fully developed, said Krista Cato, a nurse in the paediatric intensive care unit of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington.

Manuel said he and his wife were trying to have “one little brother or sister” for their 2-year-old son, Memphis.

“We didn’t expect it. We were trying for just one and we were blessed with four. We planned the pregnancy — I guess we just succeeded a little too much,” Montalvo said.

(This article was published on February 20, 2013)
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