Couple who became pregnant same time welcome ‘Twiblings’ after years of miscarriages

A couple who each became pregnant at the same time have welcomed “twiblings” born just 12 days apart after years of misfortune, including four miscarriages.

Valerie Thourin, 45, and her 41-year-old wife, Renee, met when Renee was trying to have a baby on her own using a sperm donor. She suffered a miscarriage so the couple turned to IVF treatment but, after three failed rounds, including two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, medics suggested Reciprocal IVF in October 2019.

The treatment is for same-sex couples and involved fertilising Renee’s egg with a stranger’s sperm and placing it in Valerie’s womb. Valerie fell pregnant but suffered a miscarriage three months later in February 2020. They didn’t give up and hope and found a couple who provided donor embryos – made up a stranger’s egg and sperm.

The couple spoke with Mirror, revealed that they met in 2016 and suffered years of bad luck, and misfortune, before finally welcoming two babies nearly five years after first trying for kids. They had a “twin transfer” in April 2021 – where both women had a donor embryo transferred into them on the same day. Both women fell pregnant on the same day and had healthy pregnancies.

On December 7, 2021, Valarie and Renee welcomed Levi Theodore Thourin was born weighing 6lb 8oz at Civic Hospital, Ottawa, Canada, with little brother, Lenny Rrll Thourin, born 12 days later on 19 December weighing 8lb 10oz.

Valerie, who works in finance from Aylmer, Quebec, Canada, said: “I wasn’t expecting to be a mum again as I was already a mum to my two grown-up children from a previous marriage.

“But I knew that Renee wanted to experience motherhood, so I wanted to be supportive. It was heartbreaking to see her go through the disappointment of not falling pregnant. When I miscarried myself, it was heartbreaking and I was able to truly empathise with everything Renee had gone through.

“We didn’t plan on getting pregnant at the same time, but our cycles had synced, and our doctor suggested a twin transfer- it was meant to be. Our pregnancies mirrored each other with morning sickness, and we were able to go for ultrasounds at the same time during Covid restrictions which was so special. Holding our boys for the first time was magical and their polar personalities are shining through.”

The couple started dating in December 2016 and got married in April 2018. Renee had eight rounds of unsuccessful artificial insemination (IUI) and in February 2016, they moved on to IVF treatment where Renee’s eggs were fertilised with donor sperm and transferred into her womb.

After four failed embryo transfers, one miscarriage and one ectopic pregnancy, the couple’s doctors suggested Reciprocal IVF in October 2019. Valerie chose to carry Renee’s fertilised embryo as she’d carried children before.

She fell pregnant the following month but sadly miscarried at 12 weeks in February 2020. Describing the heart-breaking moment, Valarie said: “It was soul-crushing, I’d never had a miscarriage before.

“I’d been by Renee’s side throughout her miscarriages and I’d, of course, been devastated, but it wasn’t until that point that I truly understood what she’d gone through.” The couple’s journey was put on hold due to Covid, but they continued looking into alternative options and embryo donation was the next route.

Now their babies, Levi and Lenny are toddlers