Oliver Best, two, and his new-born brother Isaac were conceived at the same time through IVF and are considered to be twins as they were born from the same batch of embryos.
Their parents, Rachael and Richard Best, had been trying for a child for four years and had already gone through six attempts at IVF before Rachael became pregnant.
On the seventh cycle, Rachael gave birth to 3.34kg Oliver in March 2014 with another two embryos then frozen at Leicester Fertility Centre.
The 35-year-old said: “We tried naturally for four years to no avail, then we went through a year of different tests and it came back as unexplained infertility which was devastating because we didn’t know what was wrong.
"We started the gruelling process of IVF. We had six rounds which resulted in a culmination of either it worked and I miscarried early on or it failed.”
The couple then had a “last-ditch attempt” which resulted in Oliver, with a further cycle leading to the birth of brother Isaac nearly two years on, weighing 3.9kg.
Most twins share a birthday and Oliver and his brother were close as Isaac was due on March 22. However, he ended up arriving five days early and is settling well in the family home in Leicester.
Their mother said:
“It’s really surreal because they are two years apart, but when I look back at photos of Oliver at Isaac’s age you really notice the resemblance in them, it’s quite amazing.”
The stya-at-home parent and her husband a transport engineer, had one round of IVF treatment on the NHS and then had to pay privately for subsequent rounds.
She said: “It’s really difficult. Prior to the first time, I think I had blinkers on because I thought, ‘it’s going to work, they’re putting an embryo back inside me, it’s essentially a baby, why wouldn’t it work?’
"The first time it did work and that was one of the miscarriages, and after that is when I realised it wasn’t necessarily going to happen and it’s really devastating, but we had great support of family and friends.”
She added her message to other couples experiencing problems having children was to “not give up hope”.