A selfless sister has given birth to her older sibling’s baby after her ovaries were left so badly scarred doctors feared carrying a baby would kill her.
Aimee Morrisby, 26, had spent £53,000 and five years trying for a baby but she was left heartbroken after suffering eight failed IVF treatments, five of which ended in miscarriage.
Aimee and her husband, Jake, 26, were devastated when doctors rendered Aimee infertile due to scarring on her ovaries.
They were determined to become parents and spent more than £50,000 on IVF treatment.
But after they spent their life savings and found IVF not working, Aimee’s little sister Shayna Wiffen, 24, stepped in to help and offered to be a surrogate .
On their second attempt, Shayna successfully fell pregnant and gave birth to baby Francesca.
Aimee and Jake, from Queensland, Australia, can’t thank Shayna enough for her selfless act and they finally have their dream family.
Aimee, a hairdresser, said: “When Shayna offered to be our surrogate we were completely shocked but over the moon, we were convinced we would never be parents so to finally have Francesca is a dream come true.
“In total we spent £53,000 on eight rounds of IVF which we paid for with our life savings, Jake and I had to work six or seven days a week to pay the bills.
“It was devastating going through so many miscarriages, we were desperate to be parents but after finding out how badly scarred my ovaries and uterus were, doctors feared carrying a baby would kill me.
“After that we decided to stop trying and that was when Shayna offered to be our surrogate.
“She is the most amazing sister anyone could ask for and watching her throughout the pregnancy was magical.
“Taking Francesca home was a surreal experience, we couldn’t believe that after everything we had been through we finally had a little girl and we can’t thank Shayna enough for giving us this amazing gift.”
When Aimee was younger she was diagnosed with Hirschsprung disease – a condition which causes blockages in the large intestine – and numerous operations on her bowel had caused scar tissue to spread to her ovaries.
Doctors told Aimee she would struggle to conceive naturally from a young age, but the couple were ready to start a family and so it was suggested that they try IVF.
She added: “Unfortunately our first round of IVF was unsuccessful, the next four were successful but sadly with each one I miscarried at five-six weeks.
“The fifth round I fell pregnant with twins but again I miscarried at nine weeks, this was the definitely the hardest and Jake and I decided to seek the help of a specialist.
“I saw a specialist in Brisbane who told me I could either have two more rounds or simply give up, obviously I didn’t want to give up so I had two more rounds which were both unsuccessful.
Aimee Morrisby comforts her sister Shayna Wiffen through the birthing process
“Each round would cost anywhere between £4,000 and £8,000 so it was a big strain financially and we were spending every penny we had.
“It wasn’t until I had an operation on my bowel that the surgeon found my uterus was just a huge ball of scar tissue, again caused by my previous surgeries, and this was the reason for all of the miscarriages.”
Aimee’s uterus wasn’t able to expand and if she were to carry a baby full term she would be risking her own life.
The couple decided to give up on their attempts but underwent one more round of IVF to harvest Aimee’s eggs in case they were needed in the future.
A year later, Aimee received a surprise phone call from her sister, Shayna, who offered to be their surrogate.
Aimee said: “I was in complete shock, I wanted to know that Shayna was sure she was making the right decision, even if she was going to be my surrogate she would always be my little sister and I felt very protective over her.
“The first attempt ended in miscarriage but Shayna got pregnant again, Jake and I didn’t believe it was happening until we heard a heartbeat, we had never heard one before and that was the day it became real.
“The pregnancy was amazing and watching Shayna give birth was extremely emotional and very exciting, not only was I watching my sister give birth but I was watching someone bring my baby into the world.
“It was really important to us that Shayna had a moment with Francesca and after Jake cut the umbilical cord we both held her, I was still in shock and couldn’t believe we were finally parents.
“I want people to know that it’s okay to give up trying with your own body, Francesca wouldn’t be here today without the help of my sister and we can’t thank her enough.”
Aimee hopes her story will inspire other women to become surrogates as she knows without Shayna her family would never have felt complete.
Shayna said: “We had talked about Aimee needing a surrogate and I always had it in the back of my mind.
“My husband Aaron, 25, and I already have two children, Mckenzie, four, and Fletcher, two, so I knew how great it was to be a mum and I thought Aimee deserved to experience that too.
“Aaron has been so supportive, we could both see how much Aimee and Jake wanted a child and how much it was hurting them that they couldn’t.
“Throughout the pregnancy Aimee and I spoke every day, she came to every appointment and helped to look after my children when I was sick.
“I know it could be quite confusing for some children but my kids had a great understanding of the whole situation and really understood that the baby was auntie Aimee’s.
“The birth was so special, it was amazing to have everyone around me and I knew I had done the right thing.
“Surrogacy is such an amazing gift to be able to give to someone, the whole experience has bought me and Aimee even closer to together and I have such a special bond with Francesca.