Instant family: Couple welcomes two babies three weeks apart

Surrogate Tawnee Gonzalez (left), with James and Andrea Valentine.
Surrogate Tawnee Gonzalez (left), with James and Andrea Valentine. Photo: Kelly Stout Stroud/Facebook

James Valentine says he always expected to have children in his mid-twenties, but after five years of trying to conceive, then turning to fertility treatments and multiple miscarriages, he and wife Andrea began to explore surrogacy options.

It's a path that ended up in the unexpected - two babies born just three weeks apart... and no they aren't twins.

After discovering that a surrogate would cost more than $20,000, the couple knew their options were running out. That's when their friend and neighbour Tawnee Gonzalez - who has four children of her own - stepped in.

She offered to have the couple's two remaining embryos implanted - one female, and one male - and to carry a baby (or two) at no cost to the Valentines.

Only a day after learning that the male embryo had resulted in a successful surrogate pregnancy, Andrea received news she was also pregnant; the baby had been conceived naturally and the two women were due just 8 days apart.

"We were excited and shocked, and just nervous because I had miscarried so many," Andrea told WSFA12 News in Texas. She then Facetimed her husband with the news.

"My wife is just looking at me and she goes, I think the first thing she said to me was, 'I'm pregnant.' And I said, 'Say again?' he said.

After some early complications that put Tawnee on bed rest, the surrogate was induced at 37 weeks due to preeclampsia, giving birth to the couple's son Britton on October 19.

Andrea gave birth to daughter Kinsley arrived in the second week of November, just three weeks after her brother.
James said that he had wanted a son and Andrea had wanted a daughter and that when they discovered the surrogate-implanted female embryo had not been successful, it was 'bittersweet.' 
In the end, they got their wish in the most unexpected way, with Andrea imparting a few kernels of advice for parents going through infertility.
"Just try to keep your faith. It's OK to cry, and just keep your eye at the very end of that goal," she said.