When Shelly, of Illinois, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she and her husband decided to freeze embryos, hoping to have more kids one day, and their prayers were answered.
“I love kids, and I feel like it was kind of my calling to be a mom,” Shelly told GMA.
Shelly found out she was pregnant with her first daughter, Amelia, in January 2019. When she returned to work after her maternity leave ended, she began pumping more, which is when she noticed a lump in her breast.
Initially, she thought the lump was just a clogged duct from nursing, but she went to the doctor in May for a biopsy to have it checked.
Soon after, Shelly was diagnosed with breast cancer. She and her husband, Robert, immediately began to cry and had no idea what to do next.
After finding peace with her diagnosis and giving it much thought, Shelly and her husband decided to visit Northwestern Medicine’s fertility preservation program to inquire about their options.
They decided to freeze her embryos prior to her starting her chemotherapy. Doctors were successfully able to freeze eight embryos, but the first two transfers in December and January ended up being unsuccessful.
In April, they did a third transfer with embryo number 7, which not only was successful, but ended up being twins!
Shelly and Robert were so beyond ecstatic and grateful for their growing family, despite everything they’ve been through.
Shelly gave birth to their beautiful twins, Nina and Margo, on December 9th, which also just happened to be the second anniversary of her being cancer-free!
“There was no way to ever plan something like that,” Shelly told GMA. “It was just, I don’t know, the stars aligned.”
“The best gift, the best reminder,” Robert added.
Shelly hopes her story empowers other women, especially young women, going through something traumatic such as breast cancer or another type of diagnosis, that you’re able to advocate for yourself and your future family building.
Hear more of her inspiring story in the video below: