‘Twins, with a twist’ — How Freddie and Chelsea Freeman grew their household to 5

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'Twins, with a twist' -- How Freddie and Chelsea Freeman grew their family to five

This is the family Freddie and Chelsea Freeman wanted: lots of siblings who play together, love each other, and help each other. But the Freemans could never have imagined how they would get to where they are now with 4 year old Charlie and his two little brothers.

After trying to get pregnant a few years after Charlie was born, the Freemans explored fertility options, met with doctors, and heard uncertainty about whether Chelsea could have more children. Last spring, the Freemans arranged a replacement for their child – and in a surprising and happy development, Chelsea got pregnant almost simultaneously.

Charlie now has two little brothers: Brandon John, born December 30th, his name in honor of Chelsea’s grandfather; and Maximus Turner, who was born eight days ago on Valentine’s Day. His middle name refers to the ballpark where Freddie Freeman played his first home game with the Atlanta Braves. The babies and Chelsea are fine and healthy, although it is inevitable that father and mother will lose sleep.

The Freemans recently welcomed two new additions to the family. Courtesy of the Freemans

“We’re going to be tired for 25 years,” said Freddie, longtime first baseman and MVP of the 2020 National League.

The Freemans said they were borrowing the word from another couple who had babies under similar circumstances: “Twins with a twist.”

The Freemans spoke about their trip on Monday night in an effort to give hope and destigmatize the choice of a replacement to couples struggling with fertility issues.

“Every pregnancy and fertility trip is a little different for everyone, and we wanted to respect our surrogate mother’s privacy too,” said Freddie. “I think it’s an inspiring story that we have.

“We tried for a couple of years and it didn’t happen. We talked to doctors and they suggested surrogacy. We started because we wanted to be blessed with more children.”

Officially a family of five 💙💙💙 pic.twitter.com/jAorRj3pFr

– Chelsea Freeman (@ chelseafree5) February 21, 2021

Freddie’s mother Rosemary died when he was 10 years old. He grew up very closely with his father, Fred. After Chelsea met Freddie, she learned very quickly that he wanted a big family.

“As long as I’ve known him, he said he knew he wanted to be a father since childhood,” Chelsea said in a November interview. “As important as being a baseball player is to him, I think it’s even more important to be a father.”

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Freddie Freeman’s son, Charlie, shows off his strength as he swings from a tee indoors.

When the Freemans decided to raise a family, Chelsea quickly became pregnant with Charlie. She had an emergency caesarean section when he was born. Freddie noted on Monday that some of the complications with this procedure may have affected her attempts for a second child.

“I thought, ‘You know, it will be the same this time,'” said Chelsea. “I had a couple of girlfriends and we all tried at the same time. They slowly got pregnant and I didn’t. It was a difficult time for us.

“It was too painful to even talk about. Finally, after a year and a half, I said, ‘We have to come up with a plan.'”

As the months passed and the home pregnancy tests came back negative, the couple began to consult with doctors.

“There were a lot of doctor’s appointments, a lot of procedures, a lot of tests,” said Chelsea. “Lots of them alone because it was during baseball season. It’s all worth it in the end, but going through this … definitely one of the hardest things to go through mentally.”

“The hardest thing about sterility is the emotion. You’re so drained because you don’t know why – like, ‘Why doesn’t it happen? What’s that part of God’s plan?’ You think about these things. “

As Freddie said, “We got all of the doctors’ appointments and it didn’t happen. We didn’t know if we would ever have another child. We were told by a few people that it wasn’t her.” I will not be able to carry anymore. “

They quickly accepted the idea of ​​a replacement. Last spring, Chelsea underwent a procedure to prepare for an embryo transfer. Freddie carried a phone in the back pocket of his uniform to hear something.

However, the onset of COVID-19 delayed embryo transfer. Nine days ahead of the scheduled appointment, Chelsea took another pregnancy test – one of dozen and dozen after Charlie was born – and saw that she was pregnant.

“I started crying and then I freaked out,” she recalled. “And then it’s just all those emotions again. It really felt like I was instantly healed, all the stress and everything lifting off my shoulders when I saw the positives.”

Freddie, Chelsea and Charlie have added two new family members in the past few months. Logan Cascia / Cascia Films

Freddie was training at the time. So Chelsea tried to find a way to tell him and asked Charlie to draw a picture of her with a baby in her tummy. When Freddie came through the door, he was initially confused – until he saw the positive test.

“No way,” he said. “Are you serious?”

He hugged Chelsea and they collapsed.

“We went from one to three,” he said happily.

The doctors asked if they wanted to do the embryo transfer. The Freemans didn’t hesitate to say yes.

Freddie is generally a private individual with no interest in social media. But last year, Chelsea took to Instagram to talk about the fertility issues they were facing.

“When she told this story,” Freddie recalled, “it was just like that – we’re normal people, you know. I know you see me a lot on TV and play baseball, but we go through the same things. We. ” tried so hard. “

Chelsea gave birth to Brandon on December 30th after four hours of work.

And the Freemans surrogate mother delivered Maximus on February 14th. “What an amazing woman from an amazing family and she really helped us,” said Freddie.

Chelsea said: “It was always my dream to have three children when I was 30. When my 29th birthday came and I wasn’t pregnant, I never thought it would be possible. I think our story is definitely a story that God always has a bigger plan … Whether a family seeks foster care, adoption or surrogacy, children – no matter how they come – are truly a blessing for any family. “

Now the Freemans are a group of five – with Charlie the perfect age to be an older sibling, Freddie said, helping out with pacifiers and blankets, and wearing pajamas matching his little brothers’ pajamas Monday night.