A same-sex couple who was pregnant at the same time experienced the gift of childbirth when each gave birth just two days apart.
Using in vitro fertilization (IVF), Renee and Anna McInarnay welcomed two girls over a two-day period in Mississippi.
Renee, 36, welcomed her first daughter, Emma Reese McInarnay, in Hattiesburg on October 13. Two days later, her wife, Anna, gave birth to her second daughter, Avonlea Grace McInarnay.
“I held my breath until Avonlea was born,” Renee told People. “She was very grateful and in love with Emma when she came; Anna and I were. She was really our rock when Anna was giving birth. I kept holding Emma and she was our champion. Until I heard Avonlea cry for the first time, I couldn’t let go. Then there was the relief of having our family safe.”
When her story went viral on social media, Anna said she was nervous trying to keep up with two newborns.
“It’s been really overwhelming trying to get the girls to have some kind of schedule. But we’re doing really well because our moms are here to help,” Anna told People. “We have had a very sweet time together. Babies are magical.”
Renee and Anna got married in 2017 and underwent IVF treatments in New Orleans to start a family.
In January, staff at the center approached the couple with the happy news.
“They said, ‘Anna, you’re going to want to sit down,’ because I’m the most excitable,” Anna said. “They said, ‘Anna, you’re pregnant and so is Renee.’ I will never forget. We were screaming and jumping and screaming and screaming. We just hugged and cried.”
Photos from her maternity shoot quickly became a social media sensation.
“At first we were really hesitant because we didn’t want to deal with the inevitable trolling and derogatory comments that would be made about a same-sex couple,” Renee said. “So we thought, ‘You know, it would probably be really nice and powerful.'”
And they said that the newest members of their family already get along.
“Avonlea, we call her Avi, she is our very nosy and very alert baby. She loves people to look at her and talk to her, play music or sing to her. She will be our conversationalist, for sure. She is already a little person,” Anna said.
“Emma is our calmest baby. She loves to just snuggle and if you cuddle her she loves to go to sleep. They are very sweet and fun together. They are like two old ladies.”