After Micaela Johnson was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer at the age of 24, she was left with no choice but to undergo a hysterectomy. The procedure meant that she and her husband would have to freeze their embryos and use a surrogate if they wanted to have children in the future. And when the time came, they turned to an unlikely surrogate to carry their babies: Johnson’s mother.
As ABC News reported in a Good Morning America segment, 43-year-old Sheila Gump is currently seven months pregnant with her daughter’s twins, a boy and a girl. The babies were conceived through in vitro fertilization.
“She’s my best friend, who else would do it?” Johnson, now 26, told Good Morning America, adding that the two are often told they appear to be sisters.
Though it is rare for mothers to carry babies for daughters suffering from fertility issues, this phenomenon has been known to happen before. In 2016, for instance, California resident Megan Barker gave birth to her daughter’s son — and late last year, People reported that she was preparing to have another of her daughter’s embryos transferred to her body. And in 2016, a British woman gave birth to her own grandson after her daughter was unable to get pregnant following a bout with cancer.
Johnson is already mother to a son, Aden. Gump told Good Morning America that she felt deep disappointment when she learned about her daughter’s diagnosis and that she wouldn’t be able to have more children. “I felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest,” Gump recalled. “It was almost as if it was me [who was] being diagnosed.”
Gump said she did not hesitate when it came to helping her daughter have more children. “I just knew I was going to do it from the beginning,” she said. “As a mother, you want to see your child happy and with everything in life that you can give them.” The babies are due in July.
Read more at ABC News.