Chicago woman carries her identical twin sister’s baby

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Identical twins from Chicago have spoken candidly about what it’s like for one to act as a surrogate for the other.

Courtney Essenpreis, 36, already had two children of her own – so when her twin Amy Fuggiti struggled to conceive after years of IVF, she stepped up to offer her womb to her sister.

Now Courtney will give birth to her niece in October, while Amy and husband Anthony, 38, will join her in the delivery room.

Twin Band: Courtney Essenpreis, 36, currently serves as a surrogate for her twin sister, Amy Fuggiti

Twin Band: Courtney Essenpreis, 36, currently serves as a surrogate for her twin sister, Amy Fuggiti

'When I say, "we are pregnant," I mean myself, my husband and my sister,

“When I say, ‘We’re pregnant,’ I mean myself, my husband and my sister,” Amy said. “It’s a beautiful celebration of life because we’ve all done this together”

Both Amy and Courtney always knew that having children would be a little trickier for them.

Speaking in the podcast pregnant this week, they explained that they were both born with a chromosomal condition called Axenfeld-Rieger syndrome, a condition that primarily affects the eye but can also affect facial features, teeth, skin and the heart.

The twins were both born with umbilical hernias and were diagnosed with glaucoma at age 12.

Because there’s a 50 percent chance that any child they had would inherit the condition, they were willing to go through additional medical steps to get pregnant — especially IVF-paired pre-implantation genetic testing, which reduces the risk of passing it on. of the disease would be reduced. disorder.

Courtney managed to have two children this way, and Amy was told by a doctor that she would be pregnant in six months – but she wasn’t.

‘Six months came, six months went. Another six months came, another six months went, and six years later we’re here,” Amy said.

“There were so many chances that things could go wrong. It was disappointment after disappointment,” she added New York Post.

Struggle: Amy was told by a doctor she would be pregnant in six months - but she wasn't, and she went through years of failed IVF

Struggle: Amy was told by a doctor she would be pregnant in six months – but she wasn’t, and she went through years of failed IVF

A little help: Courtney, who has two children of her own, stepped in to borrow her womb

A little help: Courtney, who has two children of her own, stepped in to borrow her womb

“I didn’t even have to ask her to be our surrogate,” Amy agreed. ‘We are so intrinsically connected, it felt like something had to happen’

While Amy struggled to conceive, her sister was there every step of the way.

“We actually clung to each other. All our lives we’ve been together in everything, we’ve done everything together,” she said, referring to the “unspoken magic” of their twin bond.

In the end, the couple decided that Courtney would be Amy’s surrogate.

“To me it was just obvious, there was no need to say, ‘Hey, do you want to borrow my uterus?’ Courtney said. “It was the natural development.”

“I didn’t even have to ask her to be our surrogate,” Amy agreed. “We are so intrinsically connected, it felt like something had to be done.”

Last July, Amy and her husband created what they call their “golden embryo,” and in February of this year, Amy held Courtney’s hand there as it was implanted in her womb.

Though they had no hope for it, they were glad it had worked.

“When I say ‘We’re pregnant,’ I mean myself, my husband and my sister,” Amy said. “It’s a beautiful celebration of life, because all three of us did this together.”

Excited: Courtney said she's lucky to be able to help her sister

Excited: Courtney said she’s lucky to be able to help her sister

Threesome: Courtney will give birth to her niece in October, while Amy and husband Anthony, 38, (pictured) join her in the delivery room

Threesome: Courtney will give birth to her niece in October, while Amy and husband Anthony, 38, (pictured) join her in the delivery room

“There’s no one I’d rather do this with,” Amy said. “If I couldn’t have my own pregnancy, who better than my soul mate to make my dream come true?”

“I’m just so excited,” Courtney added. “A lot of people say, ‘It’s so much fun to do, she’s so lucky.’ But I’m actually the lucky one. I am the one who can help with this situation and bring baby Fuggiti into this world.

“And it’s exciting and special, and I just feel closer to Amy and closer to this baby.”

The couple documented their journey on Instagram, and Amy said she’s “always joking that the baby can hear us gossiping all the time.”

While the little girl will certainly have a unique origin story, the twins don’t find it all that strange.

“It’s been perfectly normal,” Courtney said. “The fact that I’m pregnant with my sister’s baby feels very normal. It’s a way to get from point A to B without much fuss.’

They also plan for both Amy and Anthony to be in the delivery room for the delivery.

“There’s no one I’d rather do this with,” Amy said. “If I couldn’t have my own pregnancy, who better than my soul mate to make my dream come true?”

‘[Courtney]has been there for me throughout this whole thing, and I couldn’t ask for a better second partner in this,” she added.

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