Pregnant together – with a gap of just 4 months between the pregnancies
Jeruscha and Lisa had two children with a 19-week age difference
In 2018, Jeruscha and Lisa visited us for the first time at Diers Clinic to begin fertility treatment. In 2021, they both became pregnant with a gap of just 4 months between the pregnancies. In this blogpost, they share their pregnant- together-journey.
A dream of becoming pregnant
Jeruscha and Lisa have been together since 2017 and quickly agreed that they wanted to have children. They both had this desire even before they met. So, making plans about expanding their family wasn’t a big step for them when they realized their relationship would be long-lasting.
They contacted our clinic in the summer of 2018 and had the initial consultation.
By October, Lisa had the first insemination treatment (IUI) carried out. 14 days later, the pregnancy test was positive.
Unfortunately, the pregnancy did not develop as hoped, and Lisa had to undergo a spontaneous abortion.
Both of them wished to experience pregnancy
Jeruscha and Lisa both knew they wanted to be pregnant and give birth to a child at least once. They decided that Liza should start the course of treatment because the timing was best for her considering her job situation.
Throughout the course of treatment, they discussed who of them should continue the treatment. After the abortion, however, both of them needed a break. And in autumn 2019, Jeruscha felt ready to have insemination treatment.
After 7 unsuccessful attempts, the couple decided to have Jeruscha’s fallopian tubes checked. Meanwhile, Lisa tried again to achieve pregnancy.
Initially, the couple hadn’t planned to become pregnant so close to each other. They had imagined the “classic picture” of having their first child, and then having the second child 1-2 years later with the other partner. The goal was initially just for one of the two to get pregnant.
At the end of the process, however, the couple found the combination that worked best for them. This meant that they were treated in turn every month. It meant for both of them that they had more energy and could better support each other both physically and mentally in the process.
Becoming pregnant together at the same time wasn’t planned, but the idea emerged spontaneously when Jeruscha finally became pregnant at the beginning of 2021.
One important factor for Lisa to continue was the opportunity for the couple to spend a lot of time together and experience each other’s pregnancies closely. They believed that being pregnant together and having a joint maternity would create a unique and intense experience.
When Jeruscha became pregnant, they decided that Lisa should continue with the treatment. However, they were unsure about the timing of Lisa’s next treatment.
Eventually, they agreed to wait at least 3 months. Considering their failed attempts to get pregnant, they didn’t expect Lisa to get pregnant so quickly.
Surprisingly, the first attempt after Jeruscha’s pregnancy was successful, and Lisa became pregnant in the summer of 2021, just 4 months after Jeruscha.
Thoughts and concerns
As it took longer than expected for Jeruscha to get pregnant, the couple thought about what would happen if Jeruscha couldn’t conceive.
Since Lisa had become pregnant in the first attempt, which unfortunately ended in a miscarriage, they had some assurance that it would work for her.
In the end, it was Jeruscha who got pregnant first. For Lisa, however, it was no reason to worry. Most of all, she was worried that Jeruscha would have a miscarriage or that she herself would have to go through another miscarriage.
Pregnant together – mostly a positive experience
The couple likes to think back to the time when they were pregnant together. It was a truly special experience, especially because both Jeruscha and Lisa could feel the movements of both children.
Being pregnant together at the same time allowed them to have a unique understanding of each other and provide the support they needed physically and emotionally.
However, they faced some challenges they hadn’t anticipated, particularly concerning physical tasks and chores. For instance, moving a washing machine was not easy for two heavily pregnant women.
The births and life afterwards
Of course, Lisa was present when Jeruscha gave birth to their first child.
Luckily, Jeruscha was also able to be present for Lisa’s birth. The birth was a home birth and went exactly according to plan.
A friend of the couple attended to take care of their first child during the night. Jeruscha could stay with Lisa throughout the entire birth, leaving only for breastfeeding a few times. They are grateful for this, and they are happy that both births went as hoped.
At the moment, Jeruscha, Lisa, and their two children are enjoying their time together during maternity leave.
When asked about the best part of their situation, they emphasize the importance of cherishing the small moments.
They are grateful that both of them have a close bond with their children, allowing them to breastfeed, comfort, and care for each child in turn.
For the family, it is important that they get out of the house on both small and larger excursions. However, this also has the consequence that there is not much time left for the household. It is clearly the biggest challenge for the couple. An everyday life with two small children is just not easy to plan.
Cooking has to be done 3-4 times a day, laundry needs attention, the dog needs to be taken out, the house needs cleaning, and the children have different bedtime routines. They require to be played with, carried, have their diaper changed, and breastfed – and then the day is over.
In the beginning, organizing their schedules presented numerous challenges, especially when one of them had an appointment and the other had to care for both children alone. However, with time, it has become easier, and they are no longer as overwhelmed as they were initially.
Advice for other couples
We asked Jeruscha and Lisa for their advice based on their experiences of pregnancy and the early stages of raising children. Here are their best advice.
The time gap between pregnancies
Regarding the time gap between pregnancies, they have no regrets about taking turns, and they would do it the same way again.
Originally, they aimed for a minimum of three months between pregnancies, and they advise others to consider a similar timeframe, or even six months. Having more time between pregnancies allows for better support during the later stages of pregnancy and the first few weeks after birth.
Although Jeruscha and Lisa had uncomplicated pregnancies, complications can arise. And having more time between pregnancies would help alleviate potential challenges.
Their own children were born 19 weeks apart. This worked well for them since the older child didn’t have the same needs as the younger one when he was born. The greater the spacing between births, the more parents can support each other effectively.
For instance, Lisa could not help Jeruscha very much after the first birth, as she could not carry very much due to her own pregnancy. She also couldn’t carry the baby for very long. It was very uncomfortable for her and her heavily pregnant belly at the time. This was especially a challenge, as their first child “really wanted to be carried all the time”, they tell us.
The importance of seeking support
Looking back, they believe they should have asked for help earlier when their second child was born. The initial weeks were intense, especially due to a hospital stay and breastfeeding issues.
Even if those challenges hadn’t arisen, they still would have appreciated more assistance with cleaning and cooking during the first four weeks. Their most valuable advice is to build a strong support network. Assistance and a helping hand, even if it only involves shopping groceries, is invaluable. Since their families don’t live nearby, they are grateful for the support they received.
In addition, they are very happy with “Biokiste”, a German company which delivers organic food products to private homes. That way, the couple need to worry less about shopping for cooking in their daily life.
They also mention a project in Germany called “Wellcome,” where volunteers visit homes to engage and play with children. While their children are still very young, they anticipate the long-term benefits of such a program and look forward to what it will bring to their family.
We extend our gratitude to Lisa and Jeruscha for their trust and for sharing their story!
Blogpost written by Line, Fertility Coordinator at Diers Klinik.