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Entries in Houston (2)

Monday
Feb182013

Texas Mom Delivers Quadruplets: Two Sets of Identical Twins

Gina Sunseri/ABC News(HOUSTON) -- A Texas couple trying to give their son a little sibling gave him four brothers instead, beating the odds to deliver quadruplets — two sets of identical twin boys conceived at the same time.

Tressa Montalvo, 36, gave birth to quadruplets Ace, Blaine, Cash and Dylan on Valentine ’s Day, according to a statement from The Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston. Ace and Blaine shared one placenta, while Cash and Dylan shared another.

“We tried to stick to the A-B-C-D theme when naming them,” Montalvo said in the statement. “We didn’t expect it, we were trying for just one and we were blessed with four.”

Montalvo and her husband, Manuel Montalvo Jr., 43, thought they were having twins until their doctor detected a third fetal heartbeat. They were then referred to a maternal fetal medicine specialist, Dr. Brian Kirshon, who found a fourth heartbeat.

“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,” Manuel Montalvo said in the statement. “We were trying for one little brother or sister for our two-and-a-half year old son, Memphis.”

Roughly two percent of all pregnancies result in one set of identical twins, when a fertilized egg splits into two embryos. The odds of having two sets at the same time? Pretty slim, according to Dr. James Grifo, director of the NYU Fertility Center.

“The chance of this outcome is approximately one in 10,000,” Grifo said of two embryos splitting after IVF. “This could also occur in a natural conception, but the chance of that is much [rarer].”

The Montalvos’ pregnancy was all natural, according to Tressa Montalvo.

“No fertility drugs were used. We planned the pregnancy — I guess we just succeeded a little too much!”

Because identical twins can share an amniotic sac and a placenta, they’re at risk for becoming tangled in each others’ umbilical cords and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome — a rare placental disease that results in one twin getting less blood than the other.

“Having multiples certainly adds risk to a pregnancy in and of itself,” said Dr. Kimberly Gesci, an obstetrician at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. “One of the biggest risks is preterm delivery and growth restriction.”

The Montalvo brood was born by C-section at 31 weeks. The newborns weighed between 3 pounds, 15 ounces and 2 pounds, 15 ounces.

While extremely rare, delivering two sets of identical twins isn’t unheard of. In April, 2011, Miranda and Josh Crawford of Charlotte, N.C. gave birth to identical twin girls and identical twin boys after undergoing in-vitro fertilization. And in 2002, Christina Tetrick of Wichita, Kan. was pregnant with two sets of identical twin boys, just like the Montalvos.

But while the Montalvo house just got a lot more crowded, the mom and dad of five say they’re not done yet.

“We want a girl,” Manuel Montalvo said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Aug192011

Houston Drought, Heat Wave Brings Plague of Bugs, Broken Pipes

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- Houston is suffering through its worst drought in decades, and the misery is being compounded by a plague of mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus, infestations of fleas, and a cascade of bursting water pipes that are spilling the city's precious water supply.

Most worrisome for the city is the sudden surge in the number of mosquitoes carrying West Nile.

"This summer we had an incredibly dry, very hot summer and so that will do nothing but increase the positive number of mosquitoes," said Kristy Murray, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center, who has studied the West Nile virus for nine years.

More than three times the number of mosquitoes as last year have tested positive for West Nile virus, she said.

With so little water and such high temperatures, mosquitoes and birds are coming into more frequent contact as they seek out the same limited water sources.  The birds, which carry West Nile, transmit the virus to the mosquitoes when the birds are bitten, Murray said.

So far only four cases of West Nile have been reported in humans this year, but Murray said she expects even more cases in her state.

"Usually 80 percent of cases occur in August and September in humans," she said, adding that people sometimes don't show symptoms right away.

West Nile Virus causes inflammation of the brain and meningitis, and can be fatal.

For some reason the drought and heat wave has also increased the activity of fleas in Houston.

Murray said her dogs have fleas, something that can be attributed to the climate.

"I have been using every flea product on my dogs, from oral to topical, and they still have them," she said. "Fleas have never been a problem for my dogs before."

Murray said she had heard similar stories from neighbors, who have had to treat their pets for infestations for the first time.

Just as Houston is trying to preserve its dwindling supply of water, its system of water pipes are bursting at a rate of 700 a day, up from the usual rate of 200 a day at this time of year.

The heat wave has dried out the ground so much that the soil is shrinking, leaving gaps around the pipes.  At times, the pipes sag and crack.  At other times, the increased use of water bursts through older, worn out pipes at a spot where the soil has fallen away the from pipes.

With so much water spilling into streets, the city is having trouble maintaining water pressure and instituted water rationing this week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio