Andrea Valentine learned she was pregnant just one day after learning her surrogate, Tawnee Gonzalez, was carrying her son
Andrea Valentine, of Cypress, Texas, was caught off guard when her neighbor, Tawnee Gonzalez, offered to be her surrogate after she and her husband had experienced fertility struggles.
Valentine, 39, and her husband, James Valentine, 42, had been trying for four years to have children with Valentine suffering two miscarriages. Over the years, Valentine had shared her family’s struggles with her neighbor-turned-friend Gonzales.
“As I got to know Andrea and their struggle I wanted to help. I said, ‘If it comes down to it and you need a surrogate, I’d be willing to do it for you,’ ” Gonzalez, 35, recalls to PEOPLE. “There’s really no greater gift you can give someone than the gift of being a parent. That’s something they had wanted their entire lives.”
With that, the trio began the process and by February 2018, they learned Gonzalez was pregnant with a little boy.
“I was excited! I was so happy for them! But nervous because you don’t want anything to go wrong,” Gonzales tells PEOPLE. “It’s really weird carrying someone else’s egg in your basket. You feel super responsible. I didn’t want to let them down.”
The Valentines were ecstatic to learn that Gonzales was pregnant, but they got another shock just one day later when Valentine learned that she was pregnant via natural conception.
“We were amazed and shocked and blessed and excited and scared,” Valentine tells PEOPLE. “I had already lost two babies, so it was a whole bunch of mixed emotions. After we went through those emotions we were just beyond blessed. I had been told multiple times that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. We knew that it was such a miracle.”
Valentine and Gonzalez enjoyed going through their pregnancies together. They accompanied each other to all doctor’s appointments and Gonzalez, who has a 5-year-old daughter with her husband Marty, gave Valentine all the advice she could.
“I got to experience all the things she went through being pregnant. It was perfect! We were very close and did everything together,” Valentine says.
Gonzalez gave birth to Valentine’s son, Britton James Valentine, three weeks early on Oct. 19, 2018. The Valentines were in the delivery room along with Gonzalez and her husband, Marty.
“All these years of build-up and they were going to become parents! They were all in the room with me,” Gonzalez recalls of the birth. “The doctor took Britton out of me and put him right into [James’] arms. It was a beautiful moment. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. It was beautiful getting to watch them become parents for the first time. [Valentine] was just in awe. She was crying and rubbing my back.”
About a month later, Valentine gave birth to daughter Kinsley Jade Valentine on Nov. 12.
“The first moment I laid eyes on her she was just perfect. Finally our family we so desperately wanted, we finally had,” Valentine says. “And I knew she had an older brother that would be there to protect her and be her best friend. Words could hardly describe it. We were so amazed. We were blessed with two amazing children and they were born just 24 days apart.”
Now, Valentine says Britton and Kinsley are best friends, noting that he loves to cuddle with his little sister.
“The best part of all this is every day that I wake up and get to take care of these two beautiful babies. I know they’re mine forever,” Valentine says.
“Knowing that I’m their mom is such a blessing,” she continues. “Everything, all the struggles we went through, everything was totally worth it because now I have two beautiful children that get to call me mom. It’s truly amazing.”