After battling 𝑐𝑎𝑛𝑐𝑒𝑟 as a child, Alice was unable to carry a child – so her mum stepped in to help her. Imagine being able to help your daughter become a Mother, to give her the gift of life. Theresa Hohenhaus has done just that by carrying her grandson for her daughter.
Alice Hohenhaus was 20 when she first tried I.V.F to become pregnant.
Alice didn’t want to leave it up to fate so after seeing a fertility specialist she started rounds of I.V.F with a donor to fall pregnant.
𝑆ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑝𝑟𝑒𝑔𝑛𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑎𝑡 𝑎𝑔𝑒 23 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑠𝑎𝑑𝑙𝑦 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦 𝑎𝑡 15 𝑤𝑒𝑒𝑘𝑠. 𝑆ℎ𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑠𝑢𝑓𝑓𝑒𝑟𝑒𝑑 𝑎 𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑟𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑒 ℎ𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑟ℎ𝑎𝑔𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑟𝑢𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑢𝑟𝑔𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑡𝑜𝑝 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑙𝑒𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔. 𝐴𝑠 𝑎 𝑟𝑒𝑠𝑢𝑙𝑡, 𝑑𝑜𝑐𝑡𝑜𝑟𝑠 𝑡𝑜𝑙𝑑 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑑𝑒𝑣𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑛𝑒𝑤𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑠ℎ𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑐𝑎𝑟𝑟𝑦 𝑎 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑦 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝑖𝑡 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑟𝑖𝑠𝑘 ℎ𝑒𝑟 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑎𝑠 𝑤𝑒𝑙𝑙 𝑎𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑏𝑎𝑏𝑖𝑒𝑠.
“I thought that was the end of the world. I couldn’t be a mum like I had always wanted,” Alice, now 25 said. That’s when her selfless mother, Theresa, stepped in and offered to be a surrogate to make her daughter’s dreams a reality. Theresa is a mum to five biological children, as well as a foster mother to 50 children. The 46-year-old was more than happy to help her daughter become a mother, a role she had enjoyed for so much of her life.
‘Alice already had the embryos and I thought “why not?”,’ Theresa said.
‘I thought I was too old and Alice didn’t want me to do it at first but I had already almost 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑡 Alice twice before – she ℎ𝑒𝑚𝑜𝑟𝑟ℎ𝑎𝑔𝑒𝑑 during her pregnancy and it was touch and go there for a while.
‘Making her happy and seeing her happy now is worth it.’
Alice’s mum and dad, Craig, were on board with their eldest daughter trying to get pregnant, without a partner, as soon as she made her wishes known.
“My parents are amazing people. For them it was a no-brainer, they’ve been through so much with me, they wanted to try and help,” she said.
At age 8 Alice was in remission when doctors tested her dad and sister to be a 𝑏𝑜𝑛𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑟𝑜𝑤 𝑑𝑜𝑛𝑜𝑟 in case she relapsed. With no matches, doctors asked Alice’s parents if they would consider having another child. So James, now 20, was born to save his sister and was a perfect match when she needed a lifesaving transplant two years later.
“I had people telling me I was crazy for having children at this age, but my fertility specialist said she would rather help young people than older people because it’s easier,” Alice said.
“I wanted to be a young mum, I always thought of having a big family.”
Theresa knew she was pregnant straight away, having a kind of instant morning sickness, something she experienced with 5 of her own pregnancies.
Alice was by her mother’s side at every doctor’s appointment and scan, because she wanted to be there every step of the way as if it was her own pregnancy.
Thankfully everything went smoothly and the day of delivery finally arrived. Theresa was induced 2 weeks early at Ipswich hospital, 45 minutes away from Brisbane. Born on Thursday, June 2 at 5:30 pm, Parker is absolutely everything Alice wanted; he is perfect.
Alice has one more frozen embryo and Theresa has already offered to carry Parker’s sibling when the time is right.
Reflecting on their unique journey, Alice still can’t believe what her mum did for her.
With Parker safely on his Grandmother’s chest, the emotion and atmosphere in the room turned from nervousness to completely ELECTRIC!! After waiting for so many years and going through so much, Alice was finally a mother! And the tears certainly flowed.
“You can never repay someone for doing something like that for you,” Alice said. “During the birth, she said, don’t you ever ask me to do that again, she was in a lot of pain.
“But now she is eager to do it again, to give Parker a sibling. I said ‘let me try and raise this one first’.”
“I would have to say it was the best experience of my whole life,” Theresa said.
Theresa did an incredible job at bringing Parker into the world and should be congratulated on giving her daughter such a wonderful gift. 𝑆𝑢𝑟𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑎𝑐𝑦 is such a selfless act (particularly here in Australia where you cannot be paid for being a surrogate (outside of medical bills)) and this story shows that a mother’s love for their child knows no bounds!!!
BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Alice and Theresa on the arrival of Parker! And well done for sharing what truly is an inspirational example of a Mother’s unconditional love.