Kelsi Pierce and her husband Kyle battled with infertility for three years. They tried in vitro fertilization and surgery, but to no avail. Doctors told her that she had low ovarian reserve, that her fallopian tubes were blocked and that the lining of her uterus was too thin to carry a fetus. The couple went with a surrogate mother, Kelsi’s mother Lisa Rutherford. Soon later, when Kelsi became pregnant by some miracle, she and her mother gave birth to children within a week.
“I had always wanted to be a mom”
The Pierce family now has two beautiful, little daughters. Ava was born in Minnesota, November 23, by Kelsi, 31. And she and Kyle welcomed their other daughter on October 1 in Michigan. Both gave birth weeks apart, but the pregnancies were miracle. “It was surreal at first, Pierce said. I kept pinching myself, I couldn’t believe that this’s my life”.
The call from Pierce’s doctor was dreaded. After years of trying, she was told she would not have another child. “I was devastated,” she said. I just wanted to be a mother. “It’s been a very depressing time for everyone. We hoped and failed at every treatment I heard about and worked really hard. At that time, our only option was to adopt or use a carrier type that cost more than $100,000 and was far too expensive for us.
When Pierce told her mother in Michigan about her plight, she went to her own doctor and was released to work as a pregnancy carrier. She had no idea until 2018 when she accompanied her daughter on one of Pierce’s many dates after reading a magazine article on a 57-year-old mother carrying her daughter and another child.
“We didn’t take it seriously at first because we thought my body was responding to treatment”, Pierce said. “After my mum realized what worked, she kept putting it on and told us she knew that we wanted a baby and she wanted to help make it happen for us”.
Her Mother Becomes Her Surrogate
Because of the risk and her age, we found it difficult to accept Rutherford as a carrier, but she convinced us that she wanted to carry out an embryo transfer with us. Although she was 53 years old, she was admitted as a carrier and underwent embryo transfer on 7 February. Less than a week later, she confirmed she was pregnant. “Early at the morning I saw a text message on my phone, there was a picture with positive test. I get lost in that moment”, Rutherford said.
After a while Pierce was able to recover from the medications of the fertility doctors. A month after her mother’s positive pregnancy test, Pierce got her own. “I used to do a pregnancy test every month, it was such a habit, so I did it”, she said.
“I took a look at the test when I wanted to throw it away as normal, and for the first time I saw two lines. I took the test again, tested positive and went to the doctor to confirm it”.
This was the second time she and Kyle had prepared to become parents. “After hearing the bad news three years ago, I’ve never been so happy to go to a doctor’s appointment that I couldn’t believe it”, the mother said. “I think I cried for a month at a time”.
Despite the geographical distance, Rutherford and Pierce shared their pregnancy experiences. They exchanged tips and video calls at doctor’s appointments.
They Give Birth Weeks Apart
When Rutherford was pregnant this time, she was particularly careful to stay healthy. At her 36th week, she had pre-eclampsia and doctors told her she would have to deliver the child with a 12-hour C-section. Kelsi and Kyle have traveled from Michigan to attend the birth of their daughter. But the baby struggled with some complications early on.
“When she came in, the colors were off, she wasn’t crying, we couldn’t hold her or see her, so they took her to the hospital’s intensive care unit”, Pierce said. We waited outside and I wanted to hold her. She was released less than a week later.
Ava joined the family just a days before Thanksgiving. A week later, the family drove home from Michigan to prepare for the birth of Everly’s newborn sister. Baby Ava was born a weeks later – seven weeks and three days, to be precise.
Rutherford is grateful that she had to be part of a weeks-long birth because, she said, God had a way of allowing them to have two children. “I’m thrilled that we ended up having two children. The chances of me having only one were slim”.
Pierce learned that her own mother was always there for her, the much caring, loving mother. “She has helped me realize my biggest dreams and I am so grateful for her selflessness”.