Ahead of the birth of her first child, Nicole Ziesemer said she wanted the experience to be as “natural” as possible. As she told WZZM: “This was my first pregnancy and it was all new to me.”

Nicole’s husband, Matt, explained the first-time parents wanted minimal intervention before the birth of their baby:

We decided not to do an ultrasound, just as little intervention as possible.”

The Grand Rapids, Michigan, couple’s pregnancy journey culminated with a treacherous two-hour drive to the hospital in the middle of a snowstorm and a 40-hour labor, reports WZZM.

On December 30, 2017, shortly after the birth of their daughter, Blakeley Faith, Nicole’s doctor, Megan Forshee, told her she felt a second head. The new mom thought the doctor was joking:

“…[S]he was like, ‘I don’t lie about these things.'”

Forshee noticed the mother’s placenta wasn’t coming along, leading to the realization why; unbeknownst to the Ziesemers—and Forshee—Nicole had been carrying twins.

Nicole said:

“It was just a shell shocker because no one was expecting it, everyone in the room thought they had seen a ghost.”

The Ziesemers welcomed Cade Matthew, approximately one hour after his sister, at 11:05 p.m. The Ziesemer’s family was stunned by the news:

As Parents reports, a baby’s first ultrasound is typically performed between 18 and 20 weeks, with an ultrasound at or before 12 weeks to confirm the baby’s due date. Most women will have at least one ultrasound during pregnancy.

According to Twin Research, in the instance of a pregnancy with multiples, ultrasounds during the second and third trimester should not be missed, as they can detect the risk of premature delivery. Ultrasound “is essential” during a multiple pregnancy for “the early grading and treatment of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), the diagnosis of malformations and growth disturbances,” reports the medical journal.

The Ziesemers, however, were unaware of their twin pregnancy because they had forgone an ultrasound early on in the pregnancy. WZZM reports though the couple did receive an ultrasound 24 hours before birth, the second baby was hidden behind the first.

Watch WZZM’s report below:

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