The likelihood of having twins has increased by 72% between 1980 and 2018, but it remains relatively uncommon, with only about 33 out of 1,000 births resulting in twins. Identical twins are even rarer, occurring in roughly three or four births out of 1,000. Savannah Combs, a 23-year-old woman, was thrilled to discover that she was expecting twins. However, she soon learned that both twins had Down syndrome, an even more exceptional occurrence.
Savannah and her husband, Justin Ackerman, were aware that their twins' Down syndrome might subject them to judgment from others. Yet, this uniqueness made the babies even more precious to Savannah, who affectionately referred to them as her "little gems." Hailing from Middleburg, Florida, Savannah shared her journey after giving birth to her daughters, Kennadi Rue and Mckenli Ackerman, on TikTok. Their story quickly garnered a substantial following.
“It’s very rare what they have, but they’ve been my little gems,” she told News4JAX.
In a video, Savannah mentioned that she was advised to terminate her pregnancy as her babies might not survive. Instead, she chose to give them a chance to fight.
In a video, Savannah revealed that she had been advised to consider terminating her pregnancy due to potential survival challenges for her babies. Nonetheless, she chose to give them a fighting chance. Each prenatal appointment, where her babies were still alive, became a blessing. When Savannah learned that both of them had Down syndrome, her husband was away at boot camp.
Savannah gave birth to her identical twin daughters, Kennadi Rue and Mckenli Ackerman, at 29 weeks gestation on May 12, 2021. Born two months prematurely, the girls had to spend several weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before finally going home.
These twins, known as "mono di" twins, had separate sacs but shared the same placenta, making them identical. Mono di twins are already a rarity, but the combination of this with Down syndrome is exceptionally unusual, occurring at a rate of about one in 2 million births.
Savannah emphasizes that her twins, despite their rare condition, are just like any other children. They experience emotions, have beating hearts, and are capable of speech and other activities just like their peers. While their progress might be slightly delayed, Savannah has found them to be spirited and joyful little ones who will eventually reach their milestones.
She continues to share their progress and cute updates on TikTok, aiming to demonstrate that they’re just like everyone else and can achieve anything they set their minds to.
Savannah has faced criticism and insensitive comments from some social media users about her family and twins. One person even said they would give up such babies for adoption. However, Savannah responded gracefully on Facebook, saying that it’s a good thing her daughters were born to her and not someone else. She believes that God knew what He was doing by giving the babies to parents who would love them unconditionally.
Her daughters are beautiful, and anyone who thinks otherwise is simply being unkind. People with Down syndrome are often some of the most loving and precious individuals. Sharing this heartwarming story can inspire others to appreciate the beauty and love in every child.
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