Madly in love and committed to her fiance Chris after travelling the world together, Amber Spears was ready to start a family.
The loved-up Melbourne couple had just built their dream home together and were ready to become parents.
Here Amber shares with FEMAIL how their decision in October 2014 to have a baby set them on a journey neither of the couple could have ever predicted.
Following months of unsuccessfully trying to fall pregnant, in February Amber was diagnosed with menopause at the age of 23 after discovering her follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels were elevated.
Amber Spears (middle with fiance Chris), who was diagnosed with menopause at the age of 23 and gave birth to twins two years later thanks to her younger sister Taylor (left)
Amber’s journey to pregnancy has been long and difficult – she tried fertility medication, failed attempts at IVF, and even acupuncture (pictured after giving birth)
Amber and her partner Chris (pictured left) were devastated after their attempt at IVF failed and it was discovered that neither of Amber’s ovaries worked
She endured two failed rounds of IVF using her own eggs before having her left fallopian tube removed after a cyst was found, and new tests revealed neither of her ovaries would function.
It was a long and crushing journey, until her sister Taylor – only 24 years old at the time – decided to donate her own eggs to her older sister.
Despite the process’ own complications – including highs and lows stemmed from eggs attaching and then not surviving, on their second try four of the 13 eggs survived.
She was overjoyed to realise a week later, that she was expecting twins. Chris, Amber, Taylor and her own partner couldn’t be happier.
After a 37-and-a-half-week pregnancy Amber went to the hospital to deliver with her loved ones by her side, but the birth was tricky and involved a number of complications.
But then it was decided that Taylor would donate her eggs to Amber, and on the second attempt two survived and were implanted inside her
Amber found out she was finally pregnant in March and a week later her good news doubled as doctors revealed she was expecting twins
After a 37-and-a-half-week pregnancy Amber went to the hospital to deliver with her loved ones by her side
‘I was told I had severe preclampsia. My platelet levels were so low I had to have an epidural before they induced me,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘If I didn’t I would have had to go under general anesthetic and had a C-section but I didn’t want that.
‘The next morning they broke my waters when I was 3cms dilated. I had so much fluid in my body so they cut me off water and ice chips which was horrible – I was so dehydrated.
‘They also had to give me magnesium to prevent eclampsia and brain seizures. My kidneys were failing, I had blood and protein in my urine.
After a ‘traumaitising’ pregnancy HER TWINS Archie and Annalise (pictured) were born on November 6, 2017
Archie James Todd (James after Chris’ grandfather) weighed 3.1kg and Annalise Taylor Todd hit the scales at 2.8kg
‘Fluid on my lungs a fever and was just so sick and the babies started to get distressed.
‘After nine hours of labour and only getting to 4cms at 7.30pm it was decided I would have an emergency c-section I just wanted them out.’
At 8.30pm Archie was born and just two mins later Annalise came out. Both were screaming and Amber says it was the best sound she has ever heard.
After they got some photos the new mother felt very faint.
‘My blood pressure dropped and I passed out,’ she explained. ‘Chris and the babies were rushed out. I lost 1.5L of blood and was very close to a blood transfusion.
Amber says the bond between her and her sister Taylor (pictured) has never been stronger
Amber now wants other mothers struggling with fertility to educate themselves around IVF before jumping into the process
‘After two hours in recovery and one amazing icy pole later I finally met my little miracles.
‘I was shaking and so nervous, I wasn’t ready but as soon as I held them there was such a overwhelming rush of love everything was so worth the moment.’
Amber says there are no words that can explain how thankful she is to her sister. Every time Taylor holds the twins, Amber is in complete awe.
The mother-of-two admits she was naive when she went into IVF and didn’t realise it could fail
‘She is the most selfless person I have ever met. Without her our family wouldn’t be complete and for that we are eternally greatful.
‘We have always been close but it definitely has taken our relatinship and trust in one another to a deeper level.
‘What we have been through as sister’s experiencing such highs and lows not many can say they have been there for there sister 110 per cent.’
Amber now wants other mothers struggling with fertility to educate themselves around IVF before jumping into the process.
‘It absolutely sucks. IVF is definitely not a quick fix. I was very naive when I went into IVF and didn’t realise it could fail.
‘I went in with such high hopes thinking it would be the answer to all our problems and how wrong I was.
‘Do your research. Be your own advocate. You’re the only person who can talk for you.
Annalise and Archie bring Chris and Amber so much joy and are now five-and-a-half months old
‘If your not happy with repeating the same protocol after for a different one. If you want more tests push for them.
‘My doctor went above and beyond and if it wasn’t for her switching things up and being honest with me about needing my sister’s eggs I don’t think I’d have these to beautiful babies.
‘Even if you join some of the IVF groups on Facebook and speak to the ladies going through the same thing. They really helped me so much.
‘When you don’t talk about it you feel even worse there are so many woman going through infertility and no one should feel alone.’
‘When you don’t talk about it you feel even worse there are so many woman going through infertility and no one should feel alone’