Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about one woman's ultimate act of friendship.
After four failed in vitro fertilization attempts, West Virginia couple Sandi and Philip Palmisano were beginning to wonder if their dreams of having a baby would ever come true.
While the pair were undergoing IVF treatments at the Shady Grove Fertility Center in Washington, DC, they struck up a fast friendship with Andrea and Mark Rivas, another couple who were struggling to conceive. Little did they know that friendship would truly transform their lives.
Though there was some heartbreak along the way, the Rivas eventually found their happy ending as Andrea, 28, delivered twins Avery Leigh and Connor Michael on February 1, 2012. It was around the same time that the Palmisanos received some devastating news: The only way they could have a child of their own would be with the help of a gestational carrier.
Despite Sandi's struggles, Andrea says she remained incredibly supportive throughout her own pregnancy as well as those of other moms they met at Shady Grove.
"Sandi has been such an incredible support to myself and so many other Shady Grove Fertility patients," Andrea says. "I've lost count of the number of baby showers that she has attended while dealing with the disappointments of her own negative cycles. She and Philip are both just amazing and, in mind, no one was more deserving to become parents."
It was at one of those baby showers, shortly before Andrea delivered her twins, that Sandi, 46, mentioned the news about the gestational carrier. "Even though I was pregnant with my twins and I hadn't even talked to my husband about it, I blurted out, 'I will do it for you,'" Andrea recalls. "I think we both were a little surprised that those words were coming out of my mouth, but I truly was sincere."
In February 2014, after three more IVF cycles and almost two years to the day that she had welcomed her two babies, Andrea delivered the Palmisanos' twins EmmaLee Elizabeth and Grayson Joseph with Sandi by her side.
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