Theresa Hohenhaus would do anything for her children. The devoted mother of four recently made headlines when she gave birth to her own grandson at the age of 46. Becoming part of an increasing group of self-sacrificing grandmothers who become surrogates for their own children, Hohenhaus calls this the
“Best Experience Of my Life.”
When Theresa learned that her 25-year-old daughter Alice was unable to carry a child, she immediately volunteered to be a surrogate for her own grandchild. Alice was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four. After a grueling four years of treatment, she achieved remission only to relapse just one year later. The radiation treatments left her uterus scarred and damaged. Doctors told her that she would not be able to get pregnant.
Alice miraculously became pregnant when she was 23 years old, only to suffer a devastating miscarriage at 15 weeks gestation. Heartbroken, Alice learned that although she could become pregnant naturally, her body was not capable of carrying a baby to term. She chose to freeze some embryos in hopes of one day finding a surrogate.
Although Theresa was 46 years old, she was healthy and knew from her past pregnancies and deliveries that she could withstand the physical part of a pregnancy and birth at her age. Having fostered 50 children, Theresa also knew that she could handle the emotional part of giving birth to a baby that was not her own. The only thing they were unsure of was her fertility.
Surprisingly, Theresa became pregnant right away. Thanks to morning sickness, she knew she was pregnant before even taking a test. Mother and daughter were ecstatic and thrilled to experience the pregnancy together. Alice accompanied Theresa to every single appointment.
After a healthy pregnancy, Theresa was able to carry the baby to term and gave birth to her grandson, Parker, with Alice by her side. Theresa is relishing her role as Parker’s grandmother. With one embryo left she says that there is a chance she will carry a second child for Alice.