PLANO — Talk about giving the gift of love!
A grandmother gave birth to her own granddaughter at the Medical Center of Plano Wednesday, after acting as a surrogate for her daughter and son-in-law.
The hospital says Tracey Thompson, 54, carried her grandchild for her daughter Kelley McKissack, 28, after she and her husband Aaron, 33, struggled with infertility for three years.
"It takes a mountain of a woman, and I think that's what Tracey is as far as her spirit and her strength," said Dr. Joseph Leveno.
The healthy baby, named Kelcey, was born Wednesday at 3:02 p.m., weighing six pounds, 11 ounces. Grandmother and baby are doing well.
According to the hospital, the McKissacks tried multiple infertility treatments and suffered through three miscarriages, but had four embryos left thanks to a round of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). That's when Tracey offered to be a surrogate, something Kelley calls "the best gift ... for a lifetime."
"Her and her husband had gone through so much – the miscarriages and fertility," explained Thompson. "I didn't want to disappoint her."
Thompson had stress tests, full evaluations and hormones. Meanwhile, that embryo was growing in the lab.
"Tracey was already seven years past menopause but in otherwise excellent health," the hospital says. "Age alone is typically a limiting factor for childbirth and surrogacy. However, medical advances in assisted reproductive technology can allow for late-in life surrogacy, under exacting supervision."
"It's been many years since I was pregnant," said Thompson. "The second trimester was great! The first and third were really tough."
And labor was even tougher.
"[The baby's] heart rate started dropping too much and that was [the doctor's] concern," said Thompson. "He said we need to do a C-section."
That's right, a C-section at 54! Her first, and she says, her last.
"I'm done," laughed Thompson when asked if there was a possibility of doing this again, should Kelcey want a sibling.
As for the name? Kelcey is a combination of Kelley and Tracey.
"She's beautiful, she's just perfect," said McKissack. "No one could give someone a greater gift- ever."
A gift grandma never thought twice about delivering.