25 January 2024

Rosie and Hayley always wanted a family. After getting married, buying a house and getting a dog, for them having children was the next natural step. They discussed the various ways they could have a family and eventually opted for IVF as the best option for them as a couple.

Rosie, 34, shares their journey to becoming mummy and mumma and the ups and downs along the way.

She said: "Hayley and I were together a good few years. We did the whole 'let's get a dog', 'get a house' and 'get married'. We knew that we both really wanted children in the future so we knew that was going to happen for us. We discussed the various ways.

"Hayley wanted to carry a baby if possible. She's always had that maternal instinct and feeling. I've always known I wanted to have children but I never felt comfortable with the idea of being pregnant. It worked nicely for us to know our roles in advance and how we wanted it to work. We thought about how we could create a human that is both of us. The best way to achieve that was to use my eggs and a donor sperm and Hayley to carry the baby. That is how we felt it would be part of both of us."

A woman lies on a bed in a hospital grown holding a baby whilst another woman sits next to her

After saving money for IVF, the couple started the process towards becoming parents.

Rosie added: "Looking at donors blew my mind. You go online and look at donor profiles like social media platforms. We wanted a donor with blonde hair and blue eyes like Hayley but that was quite hard to find."

Eventually a donor came up, who fitted the couple's brief perfectly. The process began and Rosie began harvesting her eggs while the couple both started injections for IVF.

Rosie said: "We both started injections together, so it felt like we were doing it together.

"During the process they took the eggs from me and I had lots of eggs. I think we got seven embryos, all really good quality."

The process began but at eight weeks pregnant, the couple discovered they had miscarried.

Rosie said: "We decided we would try again and the second time round, it was very much a waiting game. We got to the 12-week scan and the baby wasn’t developing properly. We were told the baby wouldn't survive the pregnancy so had to terminate for medical reasons at 13 weeks.

"We found the two experiences quite traumatic. On the third round, Hayley suggested we put two embryos in and we hoped at least one would take. We just didn’t want to go through those experiences again.

"The clinic was a bit hesitant putting multiple embryos in because of the risks associated with multiple births. They highlighted that we could end up with twins, triplets or quads, meaning a high-risk pregnancy. Knowing what we had previously gone through, they were happy to support us."

Rosie added: "We put two embryos in and they both took. I think I was probably one of the most relieved people in the world to be told we were having twins. I knew we could handle two."

Two women sit smiling at the camera holding twin babies

Luckily the couple had a good pregnancy. Staff kept a close eye on Hayley, given that she had experienced two traumatic losses.

"There were lots of scans, which came with their own anxieties. We were very well looked after by the amazing team at Northampton Hospital," Rosie said. The couple attended an antenatal course for twins, which helped to make their upcoming journey as parents more real.

The twins, Parker and Riley, were born at 38 weeks on 13 June 2019 and arrived via a planned C-section. They weighed 6.8lb and 7lb.

Rosie added: "It all went very smoothly but the recovery was massive for Hayley. She lost quite a lot of blood but didn't have a transfusion. From the start she struggled to get better. She had a major operation and two tiny babies to keep alive.

"She wanted to try breastfeeding, which she did for 10 days until one of babies was losing weight quite rapidly. We started bottle feeding to gain weight, which worked. I felt like we needed more support for breastfeeding.

"We are both very hands-on. At the start I had to be the primary caregiver because Hayley could hardly move. I did a lot of the nappy changing, picking up and baths. Now the girls are four, we're very conscious that everything is 50/50.

"Being two women having children is incredible. As far as the girls are concerned, they call me mumma and Hayley mummy. When they started nursery, it was the first time we had to navigate them having a mummy and mumma. But nursery have been good with it and how they talk to them about mummy and mumma.

"They've been at nursery two years now and a lot of their peers have a mummy and daddy. When they play with their dolls at home, I hear them say 'you be the mummy and I'll be the daddy'. That's also really nice. It's them understanding families, some have two daddies, some have a mummy and a daddy, some have two mummies. We’re conscious they see other children who have same sex parents as well so they don’t feel it’s just them."

Rosie said it's important for the girls to know about where they came from and the couple is ready for any questions when the girls ask them.

She added: "They have two mummies but they don't question it – they haven't yet and that day will come. We tell them how special they are, we tell them we had someone special help us to create them. It was a big thing not to call the donor 'dad' for us. A donor and a dad are very different things."

Life is a whirlwind with the girls and has now got even busier after the family welcomed a new baby boy, Maddox, in June.