Britney and Frankie Alba from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, are the proud parents of not one but two sets of twins. In 2021, they gave birth to their first set of identical twins with their sons, Luka and Levi.
Just six months after the boys were born, Britney, a 27-year-old elementary school teacher, told her firefighter husband Frankie, 25, that she thought she might be pregnant again.
“I was pregnant alright,” she told “Today.”
Although it was soon, the couple was ready to complete their family with what they assumed would be a third child. Then came the ultrasound when the technician pointed out two babies.
“And we start laughing because we think it’s a joke,” Britney told People. “And she’s like, ‘No. I wouldn’t joke about this. There’s two.'”
Last October, Britney shared a photo of the couple with their twin boys while she was pregnant with the twin girls.
In an earlier post, she shared information about her pregnancies that explained why her pregnancy with the girls would be higher risk.
“We are asking our friends and family to pray specifically for a few things,” she wrote.
Luka and Levi are monochorionic/diamniotic (Mo-Di) twins, identical twins that share a placenta but have two separate amniotic sacs. This type of twin pregnancy only occurs in three to four out of every 1,000 pregnancies.
But as Britney explained in the Facebook post, they soon learned their baby girls were monochorionic/monoamniotic — also known as MoMo twins. Monoamniotic twins occur when a single fertilized egg results in identical twins that share a common placenta and amniotic sac. This is an incredibly rare condition, affecting fewer than 1% of all births in the U.S.
The risk of complications is higher for MoMo twins due to the lack of space within the shared amniotic sac. These risks include cord entanglement, cord compression and unequal blood flow between the two babies.
“While extremely rare, MoMo twin pregnancies have a high risk of fetal complications,” Dr. Rachel Sinkey, an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine, told UAB News. “They share everything except umbilical cords, which can easily become entangled in a single sac. Unfortunately, there is a high rate of stillbirths associated with MoMo twins.”
Because of the risk, Britney was referred to the university hospital. When she was 25 weeks along, Britney was admitted into their High-Risk Obstetrics Unit and stayed there for over 50 days.
“It was nerve-wracking to think about the journey ahead of me and being away from my boys for several weeks,” Britney told UAB News. “But I knew I had a village at home and would be in great hands at UAB, which calmed my worries.”
On Oct. 25, 2022, Lydia and Lynlee Alba were delivered at 32 weeks, UAB News reports. For the following month, they remained in the UAB Regional Newborn Care Unit. The twins were discharged two weeks before their original due date on Dec. 7, just in time for the holidays.
With two sets of babies, the Alba’s home and hearts are definitely full.
“Before it was like ‘how are we going to have two babies,’ and now it’s like ‘two babies, that’s nothing,'” Britney told People. “It sounds like work but we love it. It’s just become a new normal and it’s good.”
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Check out Simplemost for additional stories.