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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mother gives daughter gift of motherhood through surrogacy

Mandy and Jamie Stephens dreamed of a moment like this for years. The couple had their share of struggles while trying to become pregnant. But all that would change when Mandy was blessed with the ultimate gift... motherhood.

"It really didn't seem real. I mean it was the best thing ever," said Mandy, Myla's mother. "Like I'm going to wake up and this won't be real because you know, I've had dreams about it."

The reality of Myla's conception is complicated. After Mandy and her husband endured the loss of an infant son, they considered turning to a surrogate for help.

"We met with an adoption agency and then some family members came forward and said, 'Yeah, hey I might be a surrogate,'" said Mandy. "At first we kind of thought that's kinda crazy, cool. We started reading about other families that were doing it."

After numerous trips to specialists and countless tests, Mandy's mother was chosen as the best candidate.

"You know, pregnancy was so easy. I like being pregnant. I don't mind being pregnant," said Sherri Dickson, Mandy's mother and surrogate. "If It was something I could do for her, why not?"

"So my family, I knew that they were probably the only ones that really could go through it all," said Mandy. "And I knew my mom is the only one that could. I mean she is a rock star and it is not an easy process at all."

Carrying Myla brought an added benefit to Sherri, who has multiple sclerosis.

"I didn't be a surrogate to put my MS into remission. I actually, that was an afterthought that it did that."  

After the big decision came what Mandy describes as a waiting game. And finally, the moment for which the family had hoped.

"I had to look at the line then I had to put my glasses on and run down to my husband," said Sherri. "And I'm like, 'Put your glasses on'. And we're both looking at it. And then I thought 'Yeah, I'm pregnant!' And then my second thought was 'Oh, I'm pregnant.'"

"When she first brought it out I was jumping up and down and we were all just hugging," said Mandy.

The family welcomed baby Myla into the world July 31st-- a gift that's brought them together with an unbreakable bond.

"Myla, her name, means miracle and her middle name is James," said Mandy. "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."

The hope of carrying a baby is not over for Stephens, though. Mandy had a procedure that has a 98 percent success rate for full-term pregnancies in women with an incompetent cervix.


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