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Apparently, 'tis the season for lots of infertility stories. And, as one of the zillions of moms who conceived a child via IVF, I was, of course, glued to the screen when journalist-mom Melanie Thernstrom appeared on the Today Show to talk about her incredible journey to motherhood. Thernstrom's the mom who will likely make the word "twibling" famous, thanks to her experience watching two surrogates give birth to her kids, Violet and Kieran, born five days apart using the same egg donor and her partner's sperm. During the segment, Thernstrom's eyes glistened as she described the pain of infertility and the joy at having found strangers who would help deliver her dream of having children.
Some people criticize couples for spending thousands of dollars and months of their lives trying fertility drugs and surrogacy when there are so many healthy babies looking for adoptive parents. But in Fernstorms case there were obstacles that kept her from adopting -- it's not just about wanting a baby that's "yours" (or your spouse's) biologically. Thernstrom says that her and her partner's ages (Thernstrom is 42 and her partner, Michael Callahan, is 37) put them low on the list of desirable candidates to be adoptive parents.
This couple may have been criticized for doing a wee bit of genetic engineering (and spending a fortune -- surrogacy can cost between $25,000 and $60,000 per child), but in the end this futuristic family sounds like a pretty loving "village." The two surrogates (both of whom have several children of their own) appear to want to remain a solid presence in the life of this new family and even provided breast milk to the babies after they were born. Best of all: Thernstrom wants her kids, now 14 months, to one day call the surrogate moms "Aunt Fie" and "Aunt Melissa." And isn't that a great way to raise kids? The more people who love our kids the better, and if that matters as much as I think it does, then Thernstrom has an official place on my long list of moms to admire.
At what point would you stop trying "the old fashioned way" and turn to surrogacy -- or wouldn't you? Chime in below!
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