Andrea and Mark Rivas, who live in the United States, have always wanted to have children but have faced difficulties in ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠɪɴɢ. After suffering a ᴍɪsᴄᴀʀʀɪᴀɢᴇ, they resorted to I.V.F ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ in 2012 and welcomed twins Conor and Avery.
But the family’s journey was far from over. Before the duo turned four, their mother had two more sets of twins. This was because Mark and Andrea became friends with another couple struggling to ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇ, Sandi and Philip Palmisano, while undergoing I.V.F ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ.
Sandi couldn’t get pregnant even after the ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ, so Andrea offered to help. “The idea came out of nowhere,” Andrea told Today Parents. “I told her, ‘I will carry your children for you! I can do it’”.
In February 2014, Emma and Grayson, children of the Palmisanos, were born. Afterwards, Andrea and Mark’s lives were finally starting to get back to normal when she started to feel nauseous. “It’s not common for this to happen to me, except when I’m pregnant,” Andrea said.
Despite the doctors’ saying it was impossible for Andrea to get pregnant naturally, Mark decided to buy a pregnancy test just to be safe. The couple was surprised to see the positive result and soon arranged an ultrasound, which confirmed that they would have two more children.
They were overwhelmed with emotions. On one hand, the Rivas were excited to finally ᴄᴏɴᴄᴇɪᴠᴇ naturally, but the couple had some concerns. Could Andrea’s body bare a third twin pregnancy? And with 2 toddlers already, would they be able to handle another set of twins?
Andrea immediately called her best friend Sandi to tell her the news. “It did not surprise me!” Sandi said. “She brings blessings two at a time!”
It was Andrea’s third pregnancy in a span of four years. This time, she gave birth to two healthy girls, Leah and Elyse. When the couple looks at the past, at the difficulty they had to get pregnant and at their four children, the conclusion is: “it was all worth it”.
They hope their story helps give hope and inspiration to other couples trying to have a family. “Never surrender when you continue to fail no matter what happens,” Sandi said.