A woman who was born genetically a man -- without ovaries, fallopian tubes, or a uterus -- has given birth to twin daughters via artificial reproductive therapies.
Hayley Haynes, 28, of Great Britain, was born without a womb, ovaries, or fallopian tubes, and was told at age 19 that she had XY chromosomes, and would never be able to have children. She was diagnosed with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome at that time.
Haynes says she was shocked and in despair to learn that she was genetically a male and would not have children.
"When they told me I had no womb I was so confused I felt sick. My biggest fear was never having children. Suddenly a huge piece of my life was missing. I felt like half a woman and was embarrassed. How I was going to tell a guy I was genetically male when I started dating?"
Haynes' best friend at the time was a man named Sam, and she confided the truth to him and her uncertainty and fear of what the future held for her. She told him no man would ever want her. Sam staunchly refuted that idea.
"She told me no man would want her. I told her that any man worth having would. At the time I said it as a friend, so it's quite romantic that man turned out to be me."
The pair's friendship gradually developed into romance, and they began dating shortly after her 22nd birthday. Meanwhile, Haynes' doctor discovered a small womb hidden inside of her and was optimistic that it would eventually grow.
"He was optimistic it would grow. I still couldn't conceive naturally but I could have the option of IVF," she said.
Haynes began taking hormones to mimic a genetically normal female's reproductive cycle, which her doctor believed would eventually allow her to conceive via IVF. Her relationship with Sam continued to grow as her prospects and hope for eventually having children improved.
The young couple decided to take a chance on ART and spent half their savings on In Vitro Fertilization in Cypress. After a long stay, Haynes took a pregnancy test.
"I peered at the test and it said positive. I couldn't contain my happiness. I was jumping up and down and screaming, but Sam kept his cool and made sure we took another test before we celebrated."
Against all odds, the pregnancy was uncomplicated, and on Christmas Eve, Haynes gave birth to two healthy baby girls.
"Becoming a mother was the single most amazing moment of my life. When I held the babies in my arms for the first time I was overwhelmed. I had spent nine years coming to terms with the fact this might never happen, but in that moment all the pain just washed away. Darcey and Avery are the most beautiful little girls in the world. Even now, I can't separate Sam from the girls because he loves them so much. We've spent so much on these babies. It's not just our wallets that are empty. We are emotionally exhausted. But I'd do it again in a heartbeat for one cuddle with my girls."
Many congratulations to the happy parents, and may this inspire couples facing fertility challenges everywhere.
[photo via bing]