Five friends who struggled for years to conceive all fell pregnant in the same summer, with their babies being born within three months of each other.
Micki Berg, 34, Amie Thomas, 36, Kristin Matty, 31, Kristen Heller, 41 and Celeste Zazzali, 37 couldn’t conceive naturally and all turned to IVF to try to achieve their dreams of becoming mothers.
Having bonded during the fertility process, the friends were amazed to discover they had all fallen pregnant over the same summer.
The girlfriends met up every week during their pregnancies, attended each other’s baby showers and even shared updates during their labours.
And now that they are all parents, they plan on raising their little ones together, claiming the experience of finally becoming mums together has bonded them for life.
Amie, a school counsellor, from New Jersey in the US, is mum to Penelope, two.
“There were times where I felt: ‘will I ever be a mum?’” she explains.
“It was really hard, I was really stressed. It was hard even to talk to friends who weren’t going through fertility problems.”
Amie met Micki, Kristin, Kristen and Celeste at a support group run by the Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (RMANJ), the fertility clinic they all attended.
Celeste, who is now mum of Annarose, two, agrees the support group offered a lifeline.
Her and her husband John, 39, had been trying to conceive for three years when she first attended the group in October 2015.
Earlier that year she had suffered the agony of losing twins - Robin at seven weeks and Rosa at 30 weeks.
“As much as my friends wanted to support me, they often didn’t know what to say. It was nice to go somewhere where they understood why Mother’s Day made me sad,” she said.
Celeste says the group started a Facebook messenger chat and were soon seeing each other all the time.
Micki, 34, mum of Colton, two, and Emma, three weeks, struggled to conceive after suffering from Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease which can make periods irregular. She was also diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve.
Kristin found herself at the group because her husband Greg Matty, 37, had a low sperm count following radiation treatment for testicular cancer.
And Kristen, 45, who is now mum to Adam, two, and Mason, two weeks, was going through IVF without a partner and appreciated the support of the other women.
“When I was turning 40 and I was single, I decided to pursue becoming a mother on my own and that was what brought me to RMANJ,” she explains.
Though Kristen thought the odds of them all becoming mothers were not in their favour she was thrilled it worked out for the friends.
“My fear was that one of us wouldn’t become a mother,” she says.
“We just hoped and prayed that it would work for all of us and by some miracle it did.”
Celeste was the first to announce the happy news that she was pregnant in early June 2016. Three months later, Kristen discovered she was also pregnant and a fortnight later Amie, Kristin and Micki also found out they were expecting.
Despite the amazing news, Celeste admitted to feeling nervous when she realised that she and the other four women were pregnant together.
“I’ve heard that one in four pregnancies result in a loss and from a mathematic perspective, I was nervous,” she says.
“There were five of us in the group and I didn’t want anyone to be left out or deal with the devastation of a miscarriage.
“We were crossing fingers and saying prayers, keeping each other occupied, we were really rooting for each other.”
And on February 1 2017, Celeste gave birth to little Annarose.
Kristen was next when her baby boy, Adam arrived on April 20.
The last three babies arrived within a week of each other when Kristin gave birth to Layla on May 18, Amie had Penelope on May 21 and Micki’s son Colton was born on May 25 2017.
“We were all updating each other as we were in labour,” Micki recalls.
“We were sharing pictures as soon as the baby was born and we were all on baby watch when we were due.”
Now that they are all parents, the group still see each other regularly and have no doubt that their children will grow up to be firm friends too.
“I can’t imagine that we will drift apart because all five of us have this connection,” Celeste explains.
“Our children are going to be celebrating milestones together and I see [us] sticking together for life.”
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