Justin and Nancy Rohde were devastated when they learned their chances of conceiving a baby traditionally were slim to none.
Like other couples, they dreamed of starting a family. In 2012, Justin and Nancy — who has polycistic ovary syndrome and a thin uterine lining — learned that their embryos weren’t sticking to her uterus. Thus, they probably wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally.
Their fertility doctor recommended the Chicago couple start considering surrogacy.
In 2015, they got matched with a surrogate, Ashley Brown. At the same time, Nancy was going through her final round of IVF; but she and Justin had so little hope that they basically assumed it would be fruitless.
But then, the unbelievable happened: Nancy got pregnant. She and Justin knew that their struggles with infertility meant they had higher chances of miscarriage, so they proceeded with the surrogate pregnancy as well.
That’s how, in the spring of 2016, Nancy and Justin ended up with two daughters — “twinblings,” born to two different women in two different cities.
[H/T: Chicago Tribune]
Nancy and Justin Rohde had been married for three years when they decided it was time to start a family.
Four failed rounds of IVF later, they found a surrogate who agreed to carry a baby for them. Unfortunately, she miscarried and didn’t want to try again.
Nancy and Justin were completely devastated — all they wanted was to have a child of their own.
In 2015, they were matched with another surrogate, Ashley Brown, a mom in Utah.
Just before Ashley went to get Justin and Nancy’s embryo implanted, though, Nancy found out she was pregnant.
Five weeks later, Ashley found out she was pregnant, too. Justin and Nancy were thrilled at the prospect of having “twinblings.”
On May 2, 2016, Nancy gave birth to Lillian Quinn, “Lilly,” in Chicago.
Just weeks later, Nancy and Justin went to Utah to be with Ashley when she was induced. On June 7, 2016, Audrey Eleanor was born.
Now, the twinblings are a year old, and they’re absolutely thriving.
Nancy and Justin have kept Ashley (and her husband, Josh) in the loop as the girls have been growing up.
They all share such an incredibly special bond that Justin and Nancy want Ashley to know how truly thankful they are for helping them grow their family.
And Nancy and Justin definitely plan on making sure their daughters know just how unique their births were.
These little girls may not understand the significance of being “twinblings” right now, but they will someday.
The toddlers are going through life together as twins — since they’re only five weeks apart, they’re developmentally pretty similar — but they’re technically just siblings.
The girls have completely different personalities; Lilly is extroverted and stubborn, while Audrey is focused and calm.
Nancy and Justin wonder if some of Ashley’s relaxed personality rubbed off on Audrey while she was in the womb.
Six months after Audrey was born, Ashley’s doctor told her she was cleared to have more children.
Ashley immediately contacted Nancy. She let Nancy know that if she and Justin wanted more kids, Ashley was ready to go.
With two young toddlers at home, Nancy and Justin feel like they have their hands full for the time being, but they love that Ashley even offered to carry another child for them.
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Photographs provided by Julie Dietz. To see more of her work, please visit her website.