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An Unlikely Surrogate

A recent story on the Today Show sparked my interest and practically begged for me to write about it. It involved cancer, fertility, and surrogacy so it seemed right up our alley, but there’s a caveat I should disclose before you read any further – the mother of the mother-to-be was carrying her daughter’s child. Are you following me so far? Keep reading…

Chicagoan Emily Jordan was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was 30 years old, leaving both her and her husband Mike, certain that children would not be in their future. Even more devastating news would follow – when she went into surgery to have her uterus removed, doctors informed her that she was actually pregnant. Although doctors could not save the fetus, they assured Emily that they would try and save her ovaries so she could still produce eggs.

After Emily’s surgery, she and Mike underwent invitro fertilization (IVF), but because she no longer had a uterus, they needed a surrogate to carry their embryo. At the time, her 52 year old mother Cindy, was anxious for a grandchild and heartbroken for her daughter because she couldn’t carry her own child. Cindy offered to be her daughter’s surrogate.  Emily and Mike initially dismissed her proposal thinking it was not a realistic option. After broaching the subject with Emily’s OB/GYN, she found out that her mother was exceptionally healthy, and actually a good surrogate candidate, so Emily and Mike made the joint decision to have Cindy carry their child.

According to Emily, “This is just a continuation of everything she has done for me her entire life, which is to make sure that I have the best life possible. This just reaffirms everything I know about her and love about her.” Just days after Emily turned 32, baby Elle Cynthia Jordan was born via C-section.  Even though the procedure required hormone shots for several months, Cindy said she would do it again: “When I watch both of them hold that baby and look into her face, it’s like everything I could have imagined wanting for them, better than I could have imagined.
This is what it was all about for me.”

Read the full story on Today. Learn more about fertility options for cancer patients, including surrogacy.

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