Woman becomes mother of twins thanks to selfless twin sister who became a surrogate
"I was trying to convince myself that I was OK with not having kids"
A woman unable to give birth to her own children welcomed her twins earlier this month. Because of a rare genetic disorder, the woman could not risk bearing children of her own. But the miracle was possible as the lady’s twin sister was the surrogate.
Whitney Bliesner, 34, was diagnosed during eighth grade with Neurofibromatosis type 2, a rare disorder that left her susceptible to developing benign tumours forming along the nerves of her brains and spinal cord. The disorder has caused Whitney to lose sight in her left eye, and complete hearing loss in one ear.
Pregnancy was deemed too risky for Whitney as it could increase the likelihood of tumour growth. But it also posed a risk to her children, as there was a 50/50 chance of passing the disorder on. Whitney had a hysterectomy on doctor’s orders to minimise any future complications.
She told TODAY she was coming to accept the fact that she wouldn’t have children. “I was trying to convince myself that I was OK with not having kids because there was no way I was going to afford adoption“.
However, after she got married in 2016, her maternal instincts kicked in and she wanted to start her own family.
“I got married to a wonderful man almost three years ago, and once I got married the feeling of wanting a family came back strong; so I decided to look at all my options and figure out how I could go about it.”
It was then that Whitney’s twin sister, Jill Noe, stepped in with an amazing offer to give new hope to the situation.
The ultimate gift of love
In December 2017, Jill offered to be her sister’s surrogate. She said it was an easy choice to make.
“She’s always wanted to be a mom and her disease has already taken so much from her. I wasn’t going to allow (NF2) to take this opportunity from her, too. She’s my best friend and I know she would have done the same for me. I really didn’t put much thought into becoming a surrogate at all. It just felt like the right thing to do.”
It took two rounds of in-vitro fertilisation for Jill to become pregnant. The babies were safely delivered on June 7 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. Rhett weighed in at seven pounds and eleven ounces, and Rhenley weighed four pounds and thirteen ounces.
Whitney was over the moon with Jill’s selflessness to give her the opportunity to become a mother.
“It’s amazing to share our story and how amazing Jill is – how she decided to stop her life for me just so I can have a family.”
Jill was equally as happy to help her sister, and even happier when the twins were safely delivered.
“I truly had no words and was just so happy and relieved everyone was healthy,” she explained.
She also believes Whitney and her husband, Peter, will be natural parents.
“Pete and Whit are naturals when it comes to parents. Those kids are going to be so loved and it is beyond rewarding that I could help them become parents.”