My Mom Delivered My Babies (After Cervical Cancer Stole My Birthing Ability)

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“It was nearing the end of the pregnancy and my mom was having multiple checkups each week to monitor her and the babies. Each day that went by I was more nervous and on edge. The doctors had scheduled delivery of the babies for 37 weeks due to mom’s health concerns. The reality still was not setting in that I was about to be a mom of three!

Mom was carrying my babies because I had a hysterectomy in November 2015. This wasn’t an optional surgery. At the age of 24 I was diagnosed with small cell cervical cancer, a rare and aggressive cancer. I needed the surgery; along with chemotherapy and radiation. Although my husband and I had one child, we wanted more. We had frozen some embryos but needed to find a surrogate once I was healthy again. We didn’t need to look far. My mom offered to carry my babies.

As she was approaching 36 weeks along, she was feeling like the babies could come at any time. We went in for a checkup and monitoring and it showed she was dilated and having contractions. The doctor predicted the babies would be making their arrival early. He did not think she would make it to the scheduled delivery date. We were all on edge after that appointment.

Surrogate for her daughter smiles for a photo while holding a sign that says she's 36 weeks pregnant
Micaela Gump-Johnson

That night mom experienced harder contractions more often. She called the doctor the next morning and he had her come in for an exam. She was 4cm dilated, quickly nearing 5. He instructed her to have a light lunch and come back at the end of the day for another exam.

At the end of the day she was 5cm dilated, but she didn’t feel it was time to go to the hospital yet. Since mom had delivered 3 babies already, we all thought she was a good judge of what was going on. It was the end of the day so she was not able to have her contractions monitored in the office, so the doctor asked us to go to the hospital for monitoring. By the time we reached the hospital room, mom was feeling some contractions. Once they checked her contractions on the monitor, they realized they were a lot closer than she could feel.

Multiple nurses were in and out of the room setting things up and bringing paperwork to be reviewed and signed. As I sat there reading and signing the multiple forms, my mind was racing. This felt so surreal. We had only been at the hospital for an hour. The doctor came to check in on mom. My heart continued to race. The doctor said, ‘Well today is the day. We are going to have some birthdays!’ We both were in shock. We had not even told our husbands yet! We frantically started calling and texting all who needed to know. Before I knew it, they were wheeling mom into the delivery room.

Daughter comforts her mother while she gives birth to her child
Micaela Gump-Johnson

My husband was on his way home from his new military assignment. Since he could not be there in time for the delivery, my cousin (who is like a sister to me), was able to be there with us. We quickly changed into scrubs and headed down the hall. Waiting outside the delivery room my heart was racing uncontrollably. I was smiling from ear to ear and my hands were shaking. I felt like I had waited for this day forever and now, it’s here! The door opened, and the nurse said it was time.

The doctor was already getting started as we came in. I sat by mom’s head and my cousin was over by the baby warmers. Tears rolled down my face as I noticed mom being tugged about. Mom started to cry as well. So many emotions were coursing through me. This women loves me so much, she is risking her own life to give birth to my children. As my mind raced, the doctor said, ‘Stand up and you can see your son.’ My heart pounding, my body trembling, I stood up and looked over the curtain and witnessed my son being delivered at 7:05 p.m., weighing 5 pounds. My daughter followed at 7:06 p.m., weighing 4.10 pounds. The best way to describe what I had just witnessed is that, it is a dream come true.

Mom holds one of her twins next to her other twin in the NICU
Micaela Gump-Johnson

There was not a dry eye in the room. So many tears were shed as I watched the twins make their way into this world. Pure joy! Once the babies both made it over to the warmers I went over to meet them. It was love at first sight. I was so nervous to hold them for the first time. I was scared that I would not feel a connection with them. Boy was I wrong!

Mom smiles down at her newborn twins while holding both of them
Micaela Gump-Johnson

Looking at our new additions, I was smiling ear to ear, hands shaking. They were perfect! I went back to be with mom as they were finishing up and I brought each baby over to her.

Surrogate grandmother smiles for a photo while holding the twins she just gave birth to
Micaela Gump-Johnson

Before I knew it, we were headed back to our room with two babies! I was still in shock that this had just happened. Not feeling them inside of me was a roller coaster of emotions and at times I felt as if this was not even happening. Having these two bundles finally lay on my chest for skin to skin contact allowed me to feel that connection with them that I had missed. I feel like I waited a lifetime for this moment and it was finally here. Having these two in my arms is an unbelievable feeling. My heart is filled with so much love and joy for them.

Mom smiles for a photo while her son meets her newborn twins
Micaela Gump-Johnson

My husband arrived from his military assignment 3 hours after the babies were delivered and was finally able to hold them. We are finally the family we were meant to be. Cancer didn’t win this time!

Couple smile for a photo while holding their newborn twins
Micaela Gump-Johnson

The twins’ older brother fell in love instantly. He gazed at them and held them close to him. He continues to hold them and sing to them daily.

Older brother kisses his newborn sibling on their forehead
Micaela Gump-Johnson

I am truly blessed and honored to be a mom to these babies — and to have a mom who loves me so much that she brought my babies into this world.

Mom and grandma smile with the newborn twins conceived through surrogacy
Micaela Gump-Johnson

Sisters Against Rare Cervical Cancers is a nonprofit organization I am a cofounder of. Our mission is to raise funds for research, increase awareness, and help sisters in need. For more information or to donate to our mission, follow us on Facebook or visit our website.”

Boy and girl twins snuggle during a newborn photoshoot
AshLee Wethington Photography
Family of five take newborn photos with their newborn twins
AshLee Wethington Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Micaela Gump-Johnson of O’Fallon, Illinois. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.

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