Although most experts claim that it is nearly impossible to quantify the odds of having consecutive sets of twins due to “too many variables,” several reports suggest that the odds may be around one in 700,000.
Gina Shelton, 30, and her partner Olie Lloyd, 33, from Telford, Shropshire, were taken aback in March when their second natural pregnancy in three years revealed another set of twins – despite no family history of twins. At incredible odds, a super fertile mother has a 700,000 to one family after giving birth to two sets of twins – one identical, one fraternal – with no ‘filler baby’ in between.
“I never thought we’d have twins, but when I was pregnant with the girls, I was working in a nursery, and I was just so tired all the time,” she explained. Everyone around me kept telling me I was going to have twins. In the hospital’s waiting room. Before the scan, Olie and I were looking at cars, and he kept joking, ‘forget it, we’re going to need a bus!’ We were probably crying with joy and panic when we found out because we were living in a two-bedroom flat at the time, and Olie was in the process of building our house. We found out a year later that we were expecting another set of twins – we couldn’t believe it, and neither could our family or doctors.”
Gina and Olie have no family history of twins, making the arrivals all the more surprising. Both sets of twins were born via C-section and were conceived naturally – each time within four months of trying. “When we called Olie’s mother and father to tell them about the second set of twins, they thought we had them on,” Gina explained. They even thought we were going to send them the scan of Niamh and Esme again as a joke. My grandmother just kept saying how sorry she was for me. I was worried that Phoebe would be pushed out as Niamh and Esme grew older, but it has brought us closer together.”
Having five children is crazy, busy, and noisy, but the couple wouldn’t trade it for the world. They went through thousands of nappies and had to purchase a seven-seater vehicle, but her family is one in a million. To date, the couple estimates that they have changed approximately 5,550 nappies. “As identical twins, Niamh and Esme get a lot of attention while out and about, so when people notice the other set, they can’t believe their eyes,” Gina explained. I believe that being active, getting up and moving around, and keeping them entertained is the key. I get tired of staying in, so I’m always planning family activities.”
Gina began documenting her life on social media after her older daughters were born. She now has 133,000 Instagram followers who follow her life as part of a family of seven. While their unlikely two sets of twins have brought twice as much demand to the family, they have also brought twice as much love and happiness, according to the couple. “While the twins have each other, Phoebe and I will always have each other because we don’t understand their bond,” Gina explained. Niamh and Esme will talk to each other and burst out laughing while Olie and I stand there trying to figure out what they’re laughing about. However, if one of them is targeted, the other is the first to defend them. They’re incredibly close, and I’m sure the boys will be as well. As a mother, nothing beats seeing them laugh and love each other like that. Although the odds of winning the lottery aren’t much better, I believe we’re luckier to have the family we do.”