Oregon Woman Gives Birth to Twin Sister's Twin Babies: 'It Was Really a No-Brainer'
Rhett and Rhenley were born on June 7.
Whitney Bliesner, 35, was losing hope that she’d ever have children. A rare genetic disorder has subjected her to tumors and chemotherapy, which left Bliesner with impaired hearing and eyesight. Thus, she didn’t know whether she could ever become a mother, she told Good Morning America.
That’s when her twin sister Jill Noe stepped in as a surrogate.
“She was losing hope and I said, ‘I’ll do it!’ ” Noe told GMA. “It’s my best friend, someone I’ve come into this world with so it was really a no-brainer that I’d offer to be her surrogate.”
And that’s what she did. Noe, who is not married and does not have children, carried Bliesner’s twin babies using donor eggs and sperm from Bliesner’s husband after becoming pregnant through in vitro fertilization. Rhett and Rhenley were born on June 7, Rhett at 7lbs., 11 oz. and Rhenley just one minute behind at 4 lbs., 13 oz., according to GMA.
“It was crazy to see it all coming to an end,” Bliesner told The Arizona Republic. “She produced these healthy babies and did her job very, very well. I’m very proud of her and amazed at her doing this for me. Now she can have her life back.”
Photos and videos showed the sisters throughout the pregnancy journey. Some showed Bliesner and Noe hugging with Bliesner touching her sister’s baby bump, and others showed the sisters beaming while holding the new little ones.
Bliesner told the Republic that she felt like a mother the moment she laid eyes on her babies.
“Once I saw the babies, it happened,” Bliesner said. “I’m a mom now. There are no words to describe it.”
The new mom told Today that she was in the delivery room the entire time Noe was in labor at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Oregon. (Both sisters live near each other in Oregon.)
“I got to sit right next to Jill’s head so I saw everything,” Bliesner told the site. “When Rhett and Rhenley were finally out. I just felt this overwhelming sense of happiness and relief.”
Bliesner was born with type 2 neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to form in the brain, spinal cord and nerves, Today reported. She is blind in one eye and partially deaf. She underwent a partial hysterectomy for fibroids.
She told Today that she and her husband Pete considered both adoption and surrogacy, but couldn’t afford either. The sisters decided to use donor eggs in the pregnancy so Bliesner’s condition would not be passed to her children. And when it came time to deliver, Noe was ready, telling Bliesney that she wasn’t afraid.
“She kept saying, ‘Nope, I’m all good,” Bliesner told Today. “I think she was just focused on making me a mom. She knew how badly I wanted it.”
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