MYRTLE, MO (KAIT) - A woman gave birth to her first grandchild early Tuesday morning. The Lawrence family, who was featured in a special Region 8 News report earlier this month, welcomed baby Mya at 6:03 Tuesday morning at Ozard Medical Center.
Mya was birthed by Sandy Lawrence, the mother of Jake Lawrence and his wife. Mya was born at 6 pounds 9 ounces and was 19 and a half inches long. Sandy served as a surrgote mother for Jake and Mindy.
Mindy Lawrence told Region 8 News both Mya and Sandy are doing well as of Tuesday morning.
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MYRTLE, MO (KAIT) – A family is preparing to welcome a new addition later this month after a woman offered to become a surrogate for her son and his wife. Sandy Lawrence, 48 of Myrtle, Missouri said she is pregnant with her son's child. Sandy, who became pregnant in June of last year, said she wanted to do this for her son and his wife Mindy.
Mindy, 24 said she is unable to bear her own biological children after having a hysterectomy four years ago. At the time, doctors told her she would be unable to have her own kids and did not want to perform the surgery. Mindy begged them to get rid of the pain she had since she was 10-years old.
"They really couldn't pinpoint everything. We kind of took a shot in the dark hoping that my last option was a hysterectomy and the doctor that we used said I don't know that this is going to fix your problems. At the time, we didn't care. I was bed rest. I was not getting out of bed. I lost so much weight," said Mindy. "At that time, I was saying, I don't care. Take it out of me. I don't care if I can't have my own (child). When you're in a state of being bed rest at 16, 17 not wanting to get out of bed very much. I mean, I strictly went to work, I came home and I slept. I was in bed all the time."
Mindy and her husband Jake tried adopting children, but they decided to opt for surrogacy.
"I knew when we got married that I could not have kids. I said look, you know, when you're marrying me, you're marrying someone who cannot have our own biological kids. There's no way that I can carry kids for you. Are you okay with that? He was like, I'm fine. I said we'll have to adopt and he said, I'm fine with that," said Mindy. "The cheapest I had seen to get a surrogate to carry is $30-40,000 to get a surrogate mother."
Mindy, Jake and Sandy visited the Sher Institute for Reproductive Medicine in St. Louis in early 2011. At the time, the family wanted to address concerns about having a 48-year old woman bear her son's child. All three learned surrogacy was possible.
"We asked the doctor all these questions and he was just like it was no big deal. Technology is so amazing and I feel like God has given us this opportunity that there's no words. It's just like, wow," said Mindy.
"We wanted this to be God's will in our lives. There have been so many hurdles that we've had to overcome on this. Everything has just worked like clockwork," said Sandy.
Mindy's fertilized eggs were harvested June 6, 2011 and then were transferred to Sandy five days later. Later that month, Sandy learned she was pregnant.
"What mother would not do this for their child," said Sandy.
Doctors told Sandy she was cleared for the process, and she felt calm about having her grandchild.
"I was concerned about the blood mixing. No blood goes through the umbilical cord. It's just nutrition that the baby gets from me. That's why I can do this for Jake and Mindy," said Sandy.
"My main concern was her health," said Jeff Lawrence, Sandy's husband. "She's the love of my life and I don't want anything to happen to her. We've been married 24 years, hopefully there's another 24 or 40 or whatever it might be. You want a grandchild. It all worked out."
"My wife is not carrying the child, so it's all kind of different," said Jake. "When she did this, it brings it to a whole other level. I only thought I appreciated my mother until this happened."
The Lawrence family learned the sex of the baby on October 10, 2011. Since then, Jake and Mindy have been preparing baby Mya's room for her arrival.
"You always got Satan in the back of your mind saying this isn't going to work. This is a joke. This isn't going to happen. That's where you put your faith in God," said Jake.
According to the Sher Institute, the success rate for similar procedures is between 25-30%. Mindy said she's happy her embryo took the first time.
Click here for more information on such procedures at the Sher Institute.
"I asked him (the doctor) what the chances for it working the first time, and he said about 60%," said Sandy. "We just feel like that's a blessing from God that this was meant to be because it worked the first time."
"It's a very emotional thing when you feel that mother love in you knowing that you can't carry your own child. That's very, very emotional," said Mindy.
Mindy said she's amazed at the show of support she has gotten from family and friends.
"I knew I would take care of my body. I don't smoke. I don't drink. I try to take care of myself. When you hire a surrogate, you don't know how they're really taking care of themselves," said Sandy. "I'm not going to try to take the baby away from them or give them any kind of hassles because this is why I'm doing this for them. So they can have a child of their own, a biological child of their own."
"I thank God. In all of this, we give God all the credit for it. I know right below that, God has brought us through everything and he's given me (everything). Whether I had married Jake or not, I'm not going to be able to have biological kids. She (Sandy) has made it all possible, beside God giving her the love and the care to do this for us, it would never have happened," said Mindy.