A 51-year-old woman from North Dakota gave birth to her own granddaughter after acting as a surrogate for her daughter.
Sherri Dickson decided to volunteer as her 32-year-old daughter’s surrogate after watching her and her husband struggle with fertility issues for years. Mandy Stephens had her first successful pregnancy thanks to IVF, but sadly lost the baby boy at 24 weeks.
“Watching your child lose a child is the definition of sadness,” Dickson said on “Good Morning America.” “I can’t describe it any other way. It breaks your heart.”
While Stephen’s sister also volunteered to be surrogate, the couple decided Dickson would be the best choice. According to doctors, the mom had already been through three of her own pregnancies, had not yet entered menopause, and would be more likely to avoid psychological attachment than Stephen’s 24-year-old sister.
The pregnancy could also potentially be beneficial to Dickson, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Since the disease was already in remission, the pregnancy could help keep it at bay.
After two attempts at IVF, Dickson became pregnant with her own grandchild in November 2014. Impressively, the mom admitted the pregnancy was fairly easy at 51 years old. “Pregnancy was easy. I was very fortunate,” Dickson said. “I was playing tennis a week before I delivered, and working out with my trainer, but the delivery at 51 was way harder than the delivery at 33 with my last baby.”
Dickson gave birth to her granddaughter Myla on July 31. Explaining the baby girl’s name, Stephen’s told KYFR-TV, “Myla, her name, means miracle and her middle name is James. She's named after her brother Theo James. So she is just like God's greatest gift to our whole family. We are so in love with her and she is going to be one spoiled girl because our family just dotes over her. We say it's Myla's world and we are just living in it.”
Looking back on the experience, Dickson said: “It’s indescribable. There are times I look at… [the baby] and say, ‘We did that, you know?’ We gave her what she wants. Not that you ever make up for a baby you lost but you give someone that hope, you know?”
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