After reading the promo for a new webcast reality series, Big Mammas, I had to find out more about the Indiana-based lesbian couple behind this adventure.
The promo reads: "Jon and Kate Plus Eight meets Will and Grace. As self-made millionaire entrepreneurs, life partners Mandy and Amy have overcome nearly everything - from failing businesses and break-ups, to lifestyle acceptance in the Midwest - but they are about to face the biggest challenge of all: parenthood."
In talking with the cast and creators of this series, I discovered some very fascinating details about this couple that you will want to see unfold in their webcast reality series!
This family's story begins eleven years ago when Mandy,34, and Amy, 39, met and fell in love while working at the same department store. The couple set up house and home together and then decided to add children. First they were joined by their daughter Amanda, now 7, and next came Bradley, now 5.
Amy who identifies herself as a "stay at home mom," carried their first two children. When Bradley started Kindergarten this year Amy says she "started contemplating going back to work." She knew she was done carrying children after two difficult pregnancies, and given that Mandy had "always been crystal clear that she never wanted to carry," according to Amy, she was comfortable knowing that their family was complete. Or so she thought.
Mandy the "breadwinner" for the family, had a very different agenda. She explained that "It has been very important to have a big family with lots of kids and Amy, on the other hand, didn't share the same view." Apparently when Mandy says of herself that she is "very persistent," she means it!
After four-and-a-half years of insisting that they needed more kids, Mandy finally got Amy to agree to ONE more child, with the stipulation that Mandy carry the baby. The only catch is that because of an emergency surgery Mandy had at age twenty-one, she is without ovaries, which a woman must have to produce an egg to be fertilized.
With the help of technology, the couple decided to harvest Amy's eggs, fertilize the eggs with donor sperm, and then transfer the healthy embryos to Mandy in hopes that one of the embryos would result in a pregnancy. As women age their eggs harden and become more difficult to fertilize, and there are less eggs produced. Because Amy was 39 at the time they started harvesting eggs, there was a strong possibility they would not find many. To their surprise, Amy produced nine eggs; six of which survived fertilization.
Here's where the plan takes a bit of a turn!
According to Mandy, "The doctor had been saying all along that with the age of Amy's eggs he would implant three of the embryos in hopes that one would take." Mandy relayed a conversation she had with the doctor that changed the entire course of this pregnancy.
Curious about the remaining embryos, Mandy asked, "What are you going to do with the other three embryos?" Apparently not wanting to be wasteful, when she learned that they were going to throw them away, she said, "well if you are going to throw them in the trash, you might as well throw them in me."
And the doctor did.
Ten days after the transfer they took a home pregnancy test that verified Mandy's pregnancy. Within the next week, a visit to the doctor confirmed that Mandy was not pregnant with just one baby, or two, or three - but FOUR.
Yes, quadruplets. A quick internet search revealed some interesting facts about quads. Did you know that the youngest father of quads was 18. Now if that doesn't teach you birth control! The oldest mother of quads was 55. Can you imagine?
Soon Amy and Mandy will join the ranks of a very elite group of parents to quads throughout the world. In fact, as of June, 2007 there are only 3,374 sets of quads in the world! The most premature surviving quads birth was at 24 weeks, which is where Mandy is now. Her due date is in June, however, she intends to carry these babies as close to full-term as she can.
Suddenly this small lesbian family of four from rural Indiana is planning to double in size with just one pregnancy - and document this experience via a webcast reality series called Big Mammas.
Mandy is the powerhouse behind this project, and Amy describes her as "an entrepreneur through and through." When asked what she hopes to achieve with this project, Mandy says that she wants to "show people that most gay families are just people who go through life like everyone else, and to show gay people, especially kids that struggle with their sexuality, that anything and everything is possible." When asked what viewers can expect to see, Amy replied simply, "A family full of life!"
You can view the trailer for this series at bigmammas.tv and you can catch their first episode on Friday, February 27th at the same link.