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Modern Day Mother’s Day: Same-Sex Couple Conceives Quadruplets

Sunday Apr 1, 2012
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FORT MYERS, Fla., - Imagine having two sets of twins born within two weeks of each other? That’s exactly what mothers and same-sex couple Laura Cavin and Sheri Green experienced as they each conceived twins from the same set of eggs and anonymous donor sperm through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

All four children - Brianna, Derrick, Anthony and Cason - were conceived on the same day and technically are quadruplets, even though the two sets of children were born two weeks apart.

The road to parenthood for these two "super moms" has been filled with both overwhelming joy and, unfortunately, indescribable sorrow. Both members of this loving couple always knew they wanted to become mothers. But like other lesbian couples, the native Floridians also understood they would need medical intervention to achieve this dream.

They contacted Dr. Craig Sweet, a reproductive endocrinologist and medical director of Specialists in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery in Fort Myers, Florida. At the time, Sheri was almost 35 while Laura was 24. They decided Sheri, who wanted biological children, would provide her eggs and Laura, who wanted to experience pregnancy, would carry the child.

Though Laura conceived identical twins from the transfer of a single embryo that split, they lost the boys, named Aiden and Branden, at 24 weeks gestation because of the extremely rare condition of twin-to-twin transfusion, where one twin was not getting enough blood while the other was getting too much.

Despite the pain of their tremendous loss, Laura and Sheri were determined not to give up. They went back to Dr. Sweet to try another time. Again, Sheri produced an abundance of eggs and high quality embryos. After much discussion and trepidation, a decision was made to transfer two embryos into each woman. Dr. Sweet commented, "The chance that all four transferred embryos would implant and grow was less than 2%, so we were all amazed when the improbable occurred."

As Mother’s Day and the babies’ birthdays approach, Laura and Sheri can look back at all they have endured and smile.

The first five months of both pregnancies went well, but at 31 weeks, Laura delivered Briana and Derek on May 9 after her placenta partially ruptured. Meanwhile, Sheri started going into labor and had Anthony and Cason on May 23, 2011.

As Mother’s Day and the babies’ birthdays approach, Laura and Sheri can look back at all they have endured and smile. Says Sheri, "We have become better mothers because we know what it is like to lose children. We would have given anything to hear Aidan and Brendan scream, so listening to four babies cry at once does not bother us. But our journey also took us to our four beautiful babies. Reproductive medicine made our dreams possible."

Sheri and Laura consider themselves mothers of four children, not of two each. From a gestational perspective, all four children were conceived on the same day. In Florida, however, they only are legally considered the mothers of the children they bore, so they are working with a family lawyer for each mother to adopt the other two.

Said Dr. Sweet: "They are a family connected through genetics, reproductive medicine and the love these two women share with each other - an amazing modern family."

Specialists in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, P.A. is a reproductive endocrinology practice providing comprehensive and compassionate reproductive medical care and assisted reproductive services.

For more information, visit www.dreamababy.com.

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