'Dream Come True': Two Women, Four Babies, One Family's Miracle
One woman's amazing journey to motherhood with sister-in-law's help.
July 17, 2009— -- Anne Marie and Randy Hamlet's 6-week-old quadruplets are still so small that they all share one crib.
Michael is the oldest, Michelle is now the biggest at close to 9 pounds, Madison is the quiet one, and Marissa is the baby of these four babies.
The miracle of four healthy infants is especially profound for the Hamlets. After eight years of unsuccessfully trying to have a baby, Randy Hamlet's sister offered to be a surrogate for the family. Both Anne Marie Hamlet and her sister-in-law were implanted with embryos, and each woman gave birth to twins in June.
Anne Marie said she never dreamed that would happen.
"At that point, I'm like, 'We've been trying for years,'" she remembered. "I said, 'If I have to change four diapers, I'll just be so happy about it.'"
Anne Marie and Randy Hamlet met in college and married 16 years ago. They put off having children early on to concentrate on their careers and then moved into a big home in Rye Brook, N.Y., with plans to "fill up the house," as Randy said.
The couple "absolutely" expected to get pregnant right away.
"That's what I thought from the very beginning," Anne Marie, 43, said. "I'm very active and busy and very healthy, so I thought I would have no problems."
For eight years they tried to conceive.
In 2007, after her second attempt at in vitro fertilization, Hamlet got pregnant. At seven weeks, she was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism and recovered. She was given a clean bill of health for the baby, but two months later received devastating news from her doctor after a routine amniocentesis.
"Everyone left the room," Hamlet recalled. "I didn't really catch that anything was wrong. And -- so the doctor called us in, you know, took us out of the office and basically said we lost the baby."
At five months pregnant she had already been buying maternity clothes, and friends were planning a shower.
In 2008, during routine tests for her next IVF treatment, Hamlet's doctors discovered a lump and she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The cancer was caught early and Hamlet underwent a lumpectomy and radiation.
She was told she would be fine, though the doctors said that it would be risky for her to carry a baby because pregnancy would put her at higher risk for cancer recurrence.
Hamlet was more concerned with her future fertility than the prognosis for her disease.
"Instead of ... questions about the cancer, I was asking questions about, 'What do we do for our process now?'" Hamlet said.
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