Shady Grove Fertility’s Facebook community has become a place for men and women across the globe who have been affected by infertility to turn for support. With nearly 13,000 fans, there is always someone there when it comes to getting through some of the rockiest points while on the fertility journey. In the case of Andrea and Sandi, the support they were looking for quickly became a bond stronger than they ever dreamed of, forever changing their lives.
Andrea and Mark married in May 2008 and decided to say goodbye to birth control, figuring “whatever happens, happens.” Mark had a son from a previous marriage, and Andrea was young with regular cycles, so they figured conceiving would be no problem at all. When they still hadn’t conceived by June 2009, Andrea and Mark began using ovulation predictor kits and started timing intercourse. Without success, Andrea and Mark scheduled an appointment with Jeanne E. O’Brien, M.D. at Shady Grove Fertility.
It was discovered that Andrea had PCOS, so they began treatment with Clomid and timed intercourse. Their first cycle resulted in a positive pregnancy test, but sadly it was a chemical pregnancy.
WHEN ANDREA MET SANDI
The fertility treatments were playing hard on Andrea’s emotions, so Mark encouraged her to seek support from women in similar circumstances. Andrea joined Shady Grove Fertility’s Facebook page and quickly connected with a woman named Sandi. Sandi and her husband, Philip, were also patients of Dr. O’Brien’s at SGF and happened to live close to Andrea and Mark. The women decided to meet for dinner and brought along their husbands. The couples really hit it off! “We spent several hours just talking at the restaurant that first evening, and we couldn’t wait to get together again.” explains Andrea. From there, a life long friendship was started, and both women were there for each other during all the ups and downs of fertility treatment.
After several more treatment cycles, Andrea and Mark received the news they had been waiting for – twins! Sandi was so happy for her friend, and over the next few months, the two continued to become closer and closer. Despite her own disappointments with four failed IVF cycles, Sandi remained Andrea’s biggest supporter throughout the pregnancy.
Shortly before the birth of Andrea’s children, Sandi was told that in order to become a mother, she would likely need a gestational carrier. Sandi shared this news with Andrea, who immediately offered to be Sandi’s gestational carrier.
Sandi and Andrea’s story of friendship and courage has been shared on NBC’s Today Show as well as the Herald Mail, the local paper in Andrea’s town of Hagerstown, MD. Catch up with Andrea and Sandi to see where they are now!