A mum-of-two claims people don’t believe her when she says they’re twins – because they’re two years apart in age.
Jorgey McCarthy, four, and Vinney McCarthy, two, were conceived in the same batch of embryos from their mum and dad, Rachel and Mac. Technically, this makes them non-identical twins.
When the parents tried for a baby, they turned to IVF as their best option since Mac had had a vasectomy years earlier – which couldn’t be reversed.
However, because Mac already had two daughters from a previous relationship, the hopeful couple, desperate for their own kids, were told they couldn’t have IVF on the NHS.
Faced with no other choice, Mac and Rachel, from Peterborough, decided to save up the money for private IVF treatment abroad.
Rachel said: “Mac’s vasectomy reversal didn’t work so we knew that IVF was the only way we would be able to have children.”
Rachel, who lived in Spain for over ten years before moving back to the UK in 2011, heard about a friend’s successful IVF experience in Spain for a third of the UK cost and decided to look into having the treatment there.
So she travelled over to Spain for the month-long cycles of treatment – but was devastated after the first two attempts failed.
Rachel explained: “The first two times we only got to the egg collection stage because the eggs weren’t good enough quality to become embryos.”
Luckily, after 18 months in which the couple parted with £10,000 on treatment, the third cycle was successful and four embryos were created.
The mum-of-two who works as a Spanish tutor said: “On the third attempt we were lucky enough to get four embryos so we transferred two and froze the other two.
“From the first transfer I fell pregnant with twins but at the 12 week scan we found out only one had survived – Jorgey.
“It was hard because I wanted to be happy and excited that one baby had survived but at the same time I was really sad that the other one hadn’t – I felt guilty for feeling happy.”
After Jorgey was born, Mac and Rachel decided the final two embryos would be their last attempt at getting pregnant, feeling scarred from the previous miscarriage of Jorgey’s twin.
But in June 20, 2019, the pair were elated when their son Vinney was born after a successful transfer and pregnancy.
Rachel said: “The doctor asked if we wanted to transfer the two embryos together or lose one since they were frozen together and had to be used at the same time.
“I couldn’t bear to think about getting rid of one so we transferred both and it’s a good job we did because we lost another one of them and might have ended up with none.
“I really wanted a sibling for Jorgey because I’m adopted and grew up with foster siblings and it’s such an amazing bond.”
Now, Jorgey and Vinney are inseparable and barely notice the age difference between them – which Rachel believes is down to a twin instinct.
She said: “They’re always together and if not they’re asking about each other. Their favourite thing to do is have sleepovers in each other’s rooms.
“Two years is quite a difference when they’re young so people can’t believe it when I say they’re twins.”