Melissa Kayser had lost hope of becoming a mom after having 9 miscarriages – until her older sister stepped in.
Kayser, 33, had been trying to have a baby for three years when doctors finally suggested, after fertility treatments and IVF, that she should consider a surrogate.
“I was devastated because you think as women we are literally born to do one thing and that’s to reproduce and when you can’t do that one thing you feel like a failure,” Kayser told Daily News. “I didn’t know if I could emotionally handle another woman being able to carry my child.”
That's when Kayser’s sister, 35-year-old Lisa Auten, offered to carry a baby for her.
“I couldn't stand watching Melissa go through loss after loss," Auten told Daily News. "She hurt so badly and she just wanted a child so bad. If I could help give her a family, then I was going to do it."
Doctors recommended that the sister have two embryos implanted. No one was expecting both to take, however, because doctors said one of the embryos was poor quality.
But then came the news: It was twins.
“I think we were all a little bit shocked. My sister was telling them to count again,” Kayser said. “My sister had a really good pregnancy and very little complications. I got to be at all the ultrasounds and got to feel the babies kick. We did a gender reveal and we tried to make things fun and memorable.”
The baby girls, Tierney and Ashlynn, are now 6 weeks old.
The sisters, however, are still going through the process of getting Kayser listed as their official mom due to Canadian law. Although the twins are biologically Kayser’s, Auten was listed on the birth certificate and Auten has to relinquish her parental rights to allow Kayser to ‘adopt’ her children.
The adoption will take place when the girls reach 6 months old.
Auten said she still doesn’t want to have kids of her own although pregnancy was a fun experience for her.
“I never saw myself being a mom. I enjoyed being pregnant, but the experience has not changed my mind," Auten said. "I am just fine being an aunt."
And Kayser is extremely grateful for the gifts her big sister has given her.
“Every day I am in awe. You hear women say you don’t really know love until you have children. They really do complete me,” Kayser said. “There’s never any words that I can say to thank her for what she did. She gave up a year of her life so that we could have a family. I could never repay.”