Lesbian couple both give birth to twins

2008-07-30 03:33:23 GMT       2008-07-30 11:33:23 (Beijing Time)       SINA English

Same sex couple Karen Wesolowski and Martha Padgett with their children Sophia, Alex, Andrew and Sienna

(From left to right) Sienna and Sophia, with siblings Andrew and Alex, enjoying a mushy treat

Andrew and Alex (left to right) share a playful moment together

The mothers have lovingly made a special room for their babies

London - Sitting on their mothers' knees, they could be any ordinary babies.

But these two sets of twins, born to Karen Wesolowski and Martha Padgett, are actually quadruplets.

The babies are related because they were created from Miss Padgett's eggs and donor sperm using IVF treatment. Two embryos were then implanted in each woman, Mail Online reported.

Miss Wesolowski, a 42-year-old physical therapist, said the couple, who met nine years ago, had tried unsuccessfully for the past three years to have a baby.

'My biological clock was ticking,' she added. 'We had been trying on and off for three years and we were exhausted. We had tried using my eggs and a sperm donor and we had tried using Martha's eggs in me.

'We had literally tried everything and had spent tens of thousands of pounds on treatment. So when Martha said to me that we should both have her eggs implanted, I thought, "Why not?''.'

Now the pair, of Riverside, California, are happily cradling twins - one boy and one girl each - who are all quadruplet brothers and sisters.

Martha, 38, gave birth first to babies Sophia and Alex, and Karen gave birth 22 hours later to their siblings Andrew and Sienna.

'We just wanted one baby,' said Martha, 38, a nurse, who already has a ten-year-old daughter with ex-husband David.

'We wanted to have a really strong family bond which was why we originally wanted Karen to carry the baby but using my eggs.

'But that didn't work out because Karen was that bit older.'

The women met and fell in love nine years ago when they both worked a a nursing centre in Hemet, California.

Karen said: 'Initially we became friends and hung out now and then with a group of others from work.

'After about a year our friendship grew into a relationship, and a year later Martha and Julia came to live with me.'

Martha said: 'My relationship with David had ended because we'd grown apart while he was away with the military.

'Then I dated a couple of men, and never had any idea of falling for another woman, until I met Karen.'

She added: 'David is supportive of us and even spends special days with us such as Christmas and Julia's birthday.'

The couple decided to have IVF treatment to create embryos from Martha's eggs and donor sperm, and to both have them implanted, to increase their chances of conceiving.

'It's very, very expensive,' said Martha. 'You are looking at $15,000 (£7,500) a time and we had tried about five times already.

'Luckily our doctor didn't think we were mad and accepted that it was appropriate given our age and that we had tried before.

'We both had to take medication to make sure we were on the same cycle.

'The side effects were horrible, hot flushes and we were bloated. Imagine two women living together going through all of that.'

Karen added: 'I kept worrying that I was too old. I didn't want them to face discrimination because we are lesbian couple either and that was one of the biggest problems.

'I wanted to know that as they got older they would be ok.'

Karen and Martha decided to opt for an anonymous sperm donor.

Martha said: 'I had the blood test first and when it came back positive, I was thrilled of course, but still wanted to know what Karen's results were.

'And when the doctor opened the door with a smile on her face and told us we were both pregnant, we could hardly contain ourselves.

'We knew from all the research we had done on the computer that there was a chance we could each have twins.

'But we literally laughed this off.

'The idea of having quads never really occurred to us then.'

At the three-months stage the women discovered Martha was expecting twins - and a month later they were shocked to find Karen was too.

'The doctor told us one of the twins often dies before it develops properly,' said Martha.

'And of course it was still in the very early stages so we thought it best not to worry.

'But once we heard all four heartbeats we thought, "oh my god, we are going to have quads".

'We could not believe it.'

She added: 'At one stage our doctor actually asked us if we wanted to faze one of the babies out because of the risk to us both as older mums.

'But we knew we had come so far to get to this point and couldn't turn back.'

The women never expected they would give birth on the same date - but the babies arrived within 22 hours of each other.

'I went in to have a routine check up three weeks before my due date and they noticed that I was having very small contractions,' said Martha.

'I went into surgery to have the babies and Karen was right by my side. When we heard Sophia and Alex cry we couldn't have been happier.'

Karen added: 'I went home and left Martha, Sophia and Alex at the hospital.

'I had a doctors appointment in the morning so I needed to get some rest.

'But literally just a few hours later and 22 hours after Martha had given birth we were proud parents again.

She couldn't be by my side because I was at a different hospital but everything seemed to happen so quickly that I didn't mind.'

One of Karen's babies, Andrew, suffered breathing problems and had to stay in hospital for several weeks, but her daughter Sienna was fine and healthy.

'It was tough having to have one baby home at a time,' she said.

'But eventually we had them all together again.'

'We both breastfed,' said Martha. 'So, when one baby woke up one of us would get up and feed them, and then when another woke the other would feed.

'It's been really hard with four babies. But we're so thrilled, knowing they're all related and can help each other through life.'

Karen added: 'Now we have four babies who are all brothers and sisters. Our family is complete.'

I have comments _COUNT_