Maggie Hughes has an incredible story to tell: we equally loved reading about her journey to parenthood and getting to know her! She’s mom to Sam and Charlie, two adorable boys born one month apart – one through a gestational carrier and the other the result of a surprise natural pregnancy. Maggie (AKA @bean.and.biscuit on Instagram – an adorable account we highly recommend) shares with us why she and her husband “love our story so much”, and how the first three years of her marriage included five rounds of IVF and a miscarriage before everything started to come together. She generously offers hopeful advice for others still in the trenches of infertility. Without further ado, read on for a very special story…
Good things come in pairs!
1. You have such a unique and beautiful family building story – though it didn’t come without quite a journey to get there. Can you share more about where you started and how you ended up, as your Instagram states, ‘Mama to 2 miracle babies born 30 days apart’?
Thanks! We love our story so much, although we NEVER had this in mind when we set out to start our family. I was ready to be a mom before I even got married, so when my husband and I finally started trying, I was very excited, eager, and impatient. The very first month we were already using ovulation kits and tracking my cycle in apps, I wasn’t trying to waste any time. We did this for several months with no positive news. Very long story short – after a year we started IVF, had 2 egg retrievals and 5 embryo transfers (the very last one resulting in a first time ever positive pregnancy with subsequent miscarriage). At this point we had been trying close to 3 years and my mind and body were shot. We decided to go the surrogacy route to have our first baby and then continue IVF on myself down the road for any additional children. After much thought and research, we chose an agency and met a surrogate who became pregnant with one of our embryos. One month later, I surprisingly found out that I, too, was pregnant all naturally. It was the shock of a lifetime! So that is how we ended up with Sam and Charlie – biological brothers born 30 days apart!
2. What inspired you to create your equally adorable and inspiring @bean.and.biscuit account and where does the name come from?
My friend and photographer, Alex Morris (@alexmorrisdesign), offered to shoot a pregnancy announcement session for our exciting news. When she posted our photos, the feedback and interest in our story blew up! People we didn’t even know were so excited for us and reached out asking where they could follow our journey. I didn’t have a blog and wasn’t sure all these wonderful strangers would care to see everything on my personal account, so I created @bean.and.biscuit where people could solely follow our journey. It still amazes me how many people love and are touched by my boys and their beginnings. It really opened my eyes to how many people have gone through similar struggles. I was nervous to open up on such a public platform, but then people started reaching out with their own stories and telling me how much hope my experience has given them – it makes me so happy I did.
Bean & Biscuit were the boys’ nicknames before they had real names. My mother-in-law said Sam was “such a cute little biscuit” in his first ultrasound photo and the name just stuck!
3. What advice would you give to intended parents on GoStork – who are just beginning their family building journey?
It’s hard to give advice because everything I’ve learned through this entire experience are all the things no one wants to hear when they’re knee deep in the trenches (trust me – I was there!). I wish I had been more patient in the beginning, relaxed more, and tried to let things happen how and when they were meant to happen. This is way easier said than done, but something worth noting! Aside from that, stay as positive as you can. Infertility causes your journey to be full of “3 steps forward, 2 steps back” moments. Focus on the wins, let the rest fall off, and keep trying. In this day and age, we have so many wonderful options to become parents. Your journey may not end the way it started, but once that baby (or babies ha!) are here, it’s all worth it!
The adorable Sam and Charlie with their Mama
Thank you, Maggie, we definitely agree. We’re so honored you shared your story with us and the boys have such an amazing story to tell when they’re older! Follow Maggie on Instagram for the cutest updates ever!