Britney Alba’s identical twin sons, Levi and Luka, were six months old when she found herself back at the doctor for an ultrasound in May 2022.
“We found out we were pregnant again, and that was a surprise,” she said.
It wasn’t the first surprise she and her husband, Frankie, had experienced since they’d met, and it wouldn’t be the biggest. They were about to find out that their family would be one of the rarest types in the world.
11 years, 11 hours
It all started 11 years ago at a church camp in Florida.
When they first met, “it was just one of those summer things,” Alba said. After they left camp and she drove back to Alabama, they were 11 hours apart.
But later when she was in college, she had a question in one of her Spanish classes, and she reached out to Frankie’s sister — their mom is from the Dominican Republic and their dad is from Mexico, so their whole family speaks Spanish fluently.
That call ended up reconnecting Alba with Frankie.
“We started talking and tried a long-distance relationship, but the timing was bad — we were in different stages of life,” she said. “One of the hardest things we had to do was break up even though we didn’t want to.”
‘Crying and laughing’
Fast forward a couple of years, and one day Alba found him knocking on her door in Tuscaloosa.
“He said, ‘My family moved to Tuscaloosa to start our Spanish ministry,’” Alba said. “God just worked everything out.”
They got married — something she never would’ve seen coming in the years prior — and she was pregnant a few months later. That too was a surprise.
But Alba miscarried.
“We were grieving at that time, and we were cautious to try again because of the heartbreak,” she said.
But Alba did get pregnant again a few months later, and as the couple looked at the ultrasound, they realized there were two babies.
“We were crying and laughing at the same time,” she said.
The doctor told the couple the twins were identical, and then told them some more detail about their situation.
“She explained that there were two types of identical twins — Mo/di and Mo/mo,” Alba said.
Mo/di twins have different amniotic sacs, and Mo/mo share an amniotic sac.
“She said, ‘Lucky for you, this are Mo/di twins,’” Alba said. “Mo/mo twins are much more rare and high risk.”
She carried the twin boys to full term, and they were able to go home the day after they were born.
‘No statistics for that’
Then six months later, she was back at the ob/gyn.
“The ultrasound technician told us there was one baby,” Alba said, “and Frankie joked and said, ‘Are you sure it’s not two?’”
The ultrasound technician said yes — until she did a different kind of ultrasound and realized she was wrong.
“Sure enough, there were two babies,” Alba said. “The reason why she only heard one was they were Mo/mo twins.”
The statistics for that kind of situation are almost nonexistent, she said. “The numbers are crazy, it’s like .01% to have two sets of identical twins back to back, and then to have a set of Mo/mo twins also, there are no statistics for that, it’s just so rare.”
And it set them on a “whirlwind” journey, she said.
Because Mo/mo twins share a placenta and an amniotic sac, they have an increased risk of cord entanglement and death in the womb, so doctors would have to monitor Alba closely.
“At 25 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital,” she said. “I had to leave my 1-year-old sons for 50 days.”
Alba said that experience was “crazy,” and while her husband was a “superdad,” they couldn’t have made it without their parents, the rest of their family and their church — Ridgecrest Baptist in Tuscaloosa, where Frankie serves as worship leader.
“Our church was slipping Frankie gas cards, making him food, rallying around us to make sure we had what we needed,” Alba said.
And at 32 weeks, she delivered their twin daughters, Lydia and Lynlee, by C-section.
“We had two healthy baby girls by the grace of God,” Alba said.
The girls spent six weeks in the NICU, and the couple drove back and forth to Birmingham every day to see them.
“For a while there it was kind of crazy, but it all worked out, and when we finally got home it was the most surreal moment,” Alba said. “We could not have done it without our faith and our church rallying behind us.”