A GP has told how she gave birth to her own triplet grandchildren when she was 55, giving her daughter the family she had dreamt of.
Dr Tinina Cade acted as a surrogate for her eldest daughter Dr Camille Hammond, who had experienced infertility issues and had gone through five years of IVF treatments without success.
After many rounds of IVF, Dr Hammond, then 29, turned to her mother, then 55, as her final hope.
In 2004, Dr Cade was implanted with three embryos made from her daughter’s eggs and her son-in-law's Jason’s sperm – and all three were successful.
At that point, the grandmother was the oldest woman to deliver grand-triplets.
Dr Hammond, who suffers from endometriosis, which makes it difficult to become pregnant, is now the proud mum of three 14-year-olds – two boys, Kai and Aaron, and a girl, Simone.
The 44-year-old mum, a GP from Baltimore, Maryland, told the New York Post: "[My mum] is my hero.
When the triplets were younger they once asked another child: “Didn’t your grandma carry you?”
Dr Hammond said: “It was such a normal part of their story, they just assumed everyone’s like this."
She now runs a non-profit organisation named after her mother to help families with fertility issues.
The pregnancy was hard on Dr Cade, who is now 69.
At one point she had to use a wheelchair to get around and couldn't walk up stairs because her bump was so large.
She stayed focused on her purpose in moments of difficulty and pain.
The grandmother said there was no confusion over her role once the children were born via Caesarean section, and her responsibility was to her daughter, not her grandchidlren.
She doesn't think of the grandkids as her own children.
She said: “What would you do for someone you love? You’d do anything. That’s part of being a loving parent."
Dr Cade, of Richmond, Virginia, carried the children for seven-and-a-half months before they were born in January 2005.
The boys weighed 4lb 9oz and 3lb 12oz, and Simone weighed 4lb 10z.
All three spent time in neonatal intensive care before they were allowed home.
As she had already begun menopause, she under went hormone treatment so her body could carry the children.
After the birth, she told reporters that she and her husband came up with the idea after watching a film about a couple in a predicament similar to that of her daughter, who was medically unable to conceive.
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