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After 5 Failed IVF Cycles, Woman Gives Birth to Twins—for Her Best Friend

Woman gives birth to friend's babies after IVF struggles

The day their twins arrived, Sandi and Philip Palmisano were beside themselves with joy.

"It seemed like it was never going to get here," Philip later said of the twins' birthday. "When we were at the hospital, it was surreal."

But the Palmisanos' happiness went a bit beyond the usual excitement couples feel when meeting their new babies. And just wait until you hear why.

Like so many couples, Sandi and Philip had struggled with infertility issues for years—along with all of the emotional hurdles that often come with it. But in 2010, a chance meeting would change their luck. After undergoing several failed rounds of IVF treatments at Shady Grove Fertility Center near Washington, D.C., the couple met Andrea and Mark Rivas, who were also going through the same treatments at the center. The couples first connected on Shady Grove's Facebook page back in 2010, but became fast friends in person soon after. In each other, they found friends who understood exactly what they were going through, and their bond grew deeper as time went by.

By 2012, Andrea's years of IVF struggles finally paid off—she became pregnant, and gave birth to two adorable and healthy babies of her own.

But sadly, she watched her newfound friend, Sandi, continue to struggle with her own infertility. And that's when she made an offer that would change both families' lives forever. What if Andrea became the gestational carrier for Sandi?

And so it was decided.

After two IVF cycles, Andrea became pregnant—with twins! And nine months later, while Sandi stood by her side in the delivery room, 6-pound Grayson and 7-pound EmmaLee were born.

"It's a moment that's really touching," Sandy later said on the Today show.

As the women were inside the delivery room, tearfully welcoming the twins, the husbands stood in another room, waiting to meet the twins.

"He came up to me and was going to shake my hand," Mark says of Philip. "And I was like, 'Gimme a hug, man!'"

The friendship between the Rivas and Palmisanos has only grown since little Grayson and EmmaLee were born, and they say they see each other at least a couple times a week.

"Now we have four miracles between all of us," Andrea said. "We call them cousins now!"

As for Sandi and Philip's long-awaited intro to parenthood, they say they are tired, but still overcome with happiness. (Despite the four hours of sleep a night and 22 diaper changes, 16 bottles and 40 diaper wipes a day.)

"They say you can't give up," Philip said. "And one way or another you'll get there."

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