When 53-year-old mother Susie Kozisek heard of her daughter Ashley Larkin’s inability to conceive her own child due to pulmonary hypertension, Kozisek offered her service after discovering what is known as gestational carrier. Remarkably, it was not the first time Kozisek offered this idea of conception. Through surrogacy, she helped her daughter became a first time mother to child, Harper, in June of 2011. Due to the success, the Larkin’s looked to expand their family by the assistance of the Iowan grandmother once again, who recently gave birth to her twin granddaughters.
Having conceived and raised four children of her own (now adults), Susie Kozisek was said by Dr. Jani Jensen, who performed the in vitro fertilization’s, to be in perfect health for the procedure to be effective, though she found it an unlikely case.
“It’s unusual for a mother to act as a gestational carrier for her own child and she was at the older end of the spectrum for pregnancy,” said Jensen. “But she was a good candidate because she’d carried previous pregnancies successfully.”
Through in vitro fertilization, a gestational carrier’s uterus is implanted with the egg and sperm of the biological parents in which they carry their fetus to term. The embryo’s of the Lark twins were stored for two years before they were implanted in their grandmother’s uterus in November 2012.
What resulted were two twin girls named Hallee and Hadlee.
“I’ve always been close with my mom even before this so that hasn’t changed,” said Larkin, “And I’m grateful she will have such a special bond with her grandkids.”
Typically, these procedures can be emotionally and legally complex for most parents. Gestational carriers aren’t even legal in some states, and it requires a great deal of money and time as you’re involved heavily with the carrier through the pregnancy. Noted celebrities like actress Nicole Kidman and country star husband Keith Urban have used similar procedures for the birth of their child through surrogacy. So have celebrity couples Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick.
But seeing as these Iowan’s chose to keep their business within the family, these financial complexities diminished some.
“[It’s] a testament to the profound love a mother can have for a child,” noted Jensen. “It is an incredible thing this mother did so her daughter could have children.”
No doubt courage and generosity shows in this Iowan grandmother’s choice in giving birth to her granddaughters so her own daughter could have the gift and experience of motherhood.
Written by Annie Elizabeth Martin