A Washington state woman was shocked when she was told that the children she gave birth to were not her own. It turned out that her twin was actually the biological mother of her children, and this only led to more confusion because she didn’t have a twin. In the end, it was discovered that the woman was in fact her own twin, confirmed by doctors to be a rare medical condition.
It all started when Lydia Fairchild, then 26 years old, found herself single and struggling to take care of her two children while pregnant with her third. She decided to apply for government assistance, but faced a ton of roadblocks in the process.
At a certain point, Fairchild was required to undergo DNA testing to prove that she was the mother of her children. Nobody ever expected the results to come back negative, but when they did, the news shocked everyone. Fairchild was told that she was going to be investigated for welfare fraud because the children were not hers, and at that point, the woman was completely stuck.
“I knew that I carried them, and I knew that I delivered them,” said Fairchild. “There was no doubt in my mind.”
The OBGYN that delivered Fairchild’s children was equally shocked by the news.
“I’ve been doing this long enough to recognize when someone is giving birth right in front of you,” said Dr. Leonard Dreisbach.
Eventually, the court ordered that a blood test be performed on Fairchild’s third child immediately following the birth. When the blood test was performed right after the birth, the results showed that Fairchild was not the mother.
This only brought about more confusion, but eventually, doctors were able to figure out the reason behind everything. It turned out that Fairchild was a chimera, which essentially means that she had the cells of a lost twin in her ovaries.
“A chimera or a person with chimerism is an odd sort of twin,” explains a 2009 Yahoo report. “A chimera happens when two fertilized eggs fuse in the womb. If the fusion does not happen, the result would be fraternal twins, but when it does happen, you get a twin that is not visibly a twin at all. Most chimeras have no idea and will never have any idea that they were and technically are a twin. Visibly, there is no difference, although, a chimera may have two different colored eyes. The real signs are in the DNA.”
Once it was confirmed that Fairchild was a chimera, her case was dismissed.