An American mom is pregnant with her daughter’s twin – two years after giving birth to her sister!
Jennie Hill (42) from Georgia in the US experienced fertility problems for 16 years but it wasn’t until her fifth miscarriage that she was diagnosed with a balanced translocation – a chromosome abnormality caused by rearrangement of parts between different chromosomes, according to Parents Like Me.
The research investigator and her husband, John (42), have spent more than $60 000 (around R900 000) on IVF to have their dream family.
The couple had two eggs fertilised at the same time in 2016 but opted to freeze the second embryo.
After falling pregnant with their miracle daughter, Harper, in January 2017, the couple is over the moon to be expecting her twin this year in September.
“It’s crazy to think I’m carrying a baby that was fertilised at the exact same time as Harper in 2016,” Jennie said.
“We did three rounds of IVF and managed to fertilise 47 eggs but only 13 embryos made it. During the five-day process there were a number of abnormalities and poor-quality eggs, meaning only two survived.
“It was a miracle; John and I were over the moon. Both eggs were inseminated at the same time, so they’re ‘medical twins’.
“I’m a twin so I was thinking about inserting both embryos as I’d love to have children with a bond like me and my brother.
“The doctor then informed us about all the risks of IVF twins, and [said] if you miscarry one embryo, the other is unlikely to survive; this was something we weren’t prepared to go through . . .
“I dreamed about being a mom since the moment I held a baby doll when I was a child. My heart broke every time I miscarried at 6-12 weeks.
“It was hard as friends announced pregnancy after pregnancy and I couldn’t even have one.
“I found support groups online for other women like me. Speaking to them made me feel less like I was the only one suffering.
“The grieving process didn’t get any easier. It hit John hard too. But this made our marriage even stronger as I saw how much he loves me and shared the desire to have a family.
“My mom, Sarah (63), who was 60 at the time, offered to be a surrogate for us, but when I discovered I could carry the baby with IVF there was no need for surrogacy.
“We considered adopting but this was going to cost $50 000 (R725 000) so we decided to take our chances and go for IVF.
“I picked up a part-time driving instructor job and John, who works in sales and purchasing, used some money out of his pension so we could cover the costs.
“I’d always wanted children but after having Harper at almost 40, I realised soon after that having more than two babies at this later age might put me in a nursing home,” she joked.
A balanced translocation means Jennie was able to get pregnant but as the embryo grew, the chromosomes would break causing her to lose her baby.
“With IVF, once they’ve inseminated the eggs, they tested the genetics of the embryos to see which ones were affected by a translocation and I had two left with a fighting chance of survival,” she said.
Jennie said that she can’t wait to welcome her little one.
“I’m a hopeful person and every time I got pregnant I thought maybe this time is the one, so it was hard for me to enjoy pregnancy even with IVF,” Jennie said.
“I’m always thinking ‘what if’ and even four months in, John has to reassure me that everything is going to be alright.
“Harper is due to meet her sibling in September. We can’t wait to have another rainbow baby to complete our little family.
“It’s the most amazing thing being a mom. We’re considering being foster parents in the future.”
Source: Magazine Features