Wow, folks are getting extremely creative these days with the baby-making process:
They are calling them the ‘twiblings’- a baby brother and sister born just days apart from DIFFERENT wombs.
It’s far from the traditional family, but 14-month-old Violet and Kieran are the much-loved children of Melanie Thernstrom and Michael Callahan. The toddlers were born from Michael’s sperm, an anonymous donor egg, and two surrogates who carried the babies.
Today Melanie, 42, says she can’t imagine having children any other way — because she and her 37-year-old partner wouldn’t have the “twiblings” they adore. The American couple’s search for a family began after Melanie’s sixth IVF treatment failed and adoption prospects were poor because of their ages. Like thousands of other couples struggling with fertility they finally settled on ‘third party’ reproduction.
They wanted twins and got in touch with Melissa Fowler, a 30-year-old mother-of-two, and mother-of -three Fie McWilliams, 34, who both live in Oregon. They agreed to carry a child each after an anonymous donor supplied the eggs. And now the couple, the surrogates and the donor Melanie describes as the ‘God-donor’ are all part of one big happy family. Melissa, who lives on the East coast, told New York’s Today programme: ‘I never been helped in such a profound way by strangers.
‘It felt like such an incredibly auspicious way for the children to start their lives. I’d always wanted to be a mum and I’d always knew that. It made me really angry when i was struggling with infertility.’ Michael said: ‘I always wanted to be a father but its been a complete astonishment to me how joyful its been to actually be a parent and to actually have the relationship with the children
‘I didn’t know that I would enjoy it as much as I do. Its amazing.’
The couple have made sure Melissa and Fie and the donor are part of their tots’ lives. Melissa said: ‘The children have a real relationship with the women involved. ‘We think of them as part of an extended family that we’ve chosen to be related to. When we explain to the children how they came to be we want to say that Auntie Fie and Auntie Melissa carried you in the tummy. We don’t want them to say: “Who’s that”?
‘We want to explain their ‘fairy god-donor came along with the magic seed and grew that seed for you.”I think that it’s much easier for them to give up the child when they don’t have a genetic connection to them and it doesn’t have a genetic connection to their children. it just is a simpler thing.’ Fie, who gave birth to Violet five days after Keiran said: ‘I had three relatively easy pregnancies with my own children and it was just a very special time in my life.
‘I thought i’d be able to help somebody else be a mother, somebody else be a father. Melissa, a nurse, said: ‘I think that the birth was a great experience for Melanie and Michael. ‘Michael did a great job at the head of the bed and Mel was right down sitting in a chair right next to my legs so when Kieran came out she went skin to skin with him and she cut the cord. It was just a peaceful great experience for them to have and for Kieran and for myself as well. ‘ Melanie told the New York Times: ‘Third-party reproduction hardly seems a romantic beginning, but it became romantic to us when it became our story.’