2 moms share inspiration behind clever double-pregnancy video

·Senior Editor
·5-min read
Claire Czerwionka, in red, and her wife Sara Tate, in scenes from their clever double-pregnancy time-lapse video. (Photos: Claire Czerwionka)
Claire Czerwionka, in red, and her wife Sara Tate, in scenes from their clever double-pregnancy time-lapse video. (Photos: Claire Czerwionka)

Two new moms are winning over the internet with a good-humored time-lapse video of their double pregnancy.

In the video, filmed every week of their pregnancy and posted to Facebook, TikTok and Instagram on July 5, spouses Claire Czerwionka and Sara Tate of Iowa City, Iowa, wear matching shiny spandex leggings and bras and lipstick (Czerwionka in red, Tate in blue) and face each other as they do thrusting dance moves along to Salt-n-Pepa’s "Push It." Their bellies grow throughout the 49-second time-lapse and, by the end, each is holding and dancing with a baby girl who is clad, naturally, in a shiny spandex onesie (now being used for weekly photos to show their growth).

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"My wife is a video editor… and she said it would be really neat to do a time-lapse kind of thing," Czerwionka, a hospital social worker, tells Yahoo Life about the partner she met six years ago while both doing drag at a local gay bar. "And then I thought it would be cool to have '90s fly-girl outfits [that would] show our boobs and our stomachs so you can see the growth and change." But their growing bodies aren't the only change: If you watch closely, Czerwionka notes, you can see how their expressions reflect the weekly vibe.

"Each week we did [a face] that encapsulated how we felt. So, the whole first chunk of the video my wife looks nauseous," she says, explaining how Tate suffered from severe nausea and vomiting for her entire first trimester, even having to get an IV to ease dehydration at one point. Czerwionka had a much easier time, but points out how her face shows, for example, how "I was real extra emotional and crying one week." Then there was the week (19) they filmed in the dark, due to a derecho ("like a sideways tornado") tearing through the region and leaving them without power for a full week — not to mention when, at the start of their third trimester, both women had COVID.

"It was like a really, really bad cold, but we both lost our taste and smell," Czerwionka says. "So that was fun."

The women did not actually plan to be simultaneously pregnant.

New moms Claire Czerwionka, left, and Sara Tate, with their babies Fiona and Maddox. (Photo: Courtesy of Claire Czerwionka)
New moms Claire Czerwionka, left, and Sara Tate, with their babies Fiona and Maddox. (Photo: Courtesy of Claire Czerwionka)

"I had been trying first because I'm older," says Czerwionka, who is 36 to Tate's 30. "We each wanted to carry." But then they found out the sperm of their known donor wasn't viable, and switched donors, to a gay friend, feeling frustrated that nearly two years had passed by then. They decided to move on to trying with Tate, but, says Czerwionka, "It was bittersweet because I wanted to experience what it was like to grow a human. So we landed on, let’s just both try and whoever gets pregnant first, we’ll go from there."

They were inseminated six days apart. "Our doctor was like, 'There’s a one in like… 10,000 chance that you’d be pregnant at the same time."

Two weeks later, Tate took a pregnancy test and it was positive. "I thought it was too late for me," Czerwionka recalls. “And then six days later, I was like, well, I may as well test, we know it will be negative, and it was positive. We were like, crap! What are we going to do now? Son of a gun." There were some tears at first, wondering how they’d get through it — particularly since this was all happening in the midst of the pandemic. But the women took it in stride. "We were like, this will be interesting."

Maddox, left, and Fiona, getting close to busting out of their spandex newborn onesies. (Photos courtesy of Claire Czerwionka)
Maddox, left, and Fiona, getting close to busting out of their spandex newborn onesies. (Photos courtesy of Claire Czerwionka)

They were not wrong. "We had all sorts of barriers, like, how are we going to give birth a couple of days apart? What if we go into labor at the same time? You could only have your partner with you in the hospital, so we had to get all these high-level exceptions… But our midwives were amazing advocates for us."

Tate wound up going into labor first — a week late, on Czerwionka’s due date, and gave birth to baby Fiona in the hospital with her wife by her side. "Then we got home from the hospital and I went into labor that night," Czerwionka says, noting that she labored at home for 24 hours before heading to the hospital, eventually giving birth to baby Maddox with a sleepy Tate and Fiona by her side.

Now the two are adjusting to having a pair of six-month-olds, with both moms breastfeeding both babies, although, says Czerwionka, "We pretty much stick to the one that came out of us."

As for the video, it's starting to take on a life of its own after the moms posted it to a few queer parent Facebook pages and then, after being urged, starting a public Instagram page, Two Buns Two Ovens, where they post occasional updates. "We’re both pretty big activists in the queer community in Iowa, and visibility is important," Czerwionka says. "Showing family life is pretty cool — debunking any myths that gay parents are bad parents."

The hardest part of the journey so far, she says was the week of giving birth, and the subsequent physical healing. Luckily, the two have a strong local support system, with friends — and even strangers, who found them through the Iowa City Queer Exchange Facebook page Czerwionka runs or just because "word had gotten around because it was a weird situation" — bringing them meals and stopping by to help out in various ways.

"The power," she says, "of the queer community."

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