Monday, August 22, 2016

Same-Sex Couple Become Fathers To Surrogate Triplets Who Defied The Odds To Survive (Photos)

A same sex couple in South Africa are thought to be the first in the region and possibly the world to become parents to triplets, which contain a set of identical twins, using a surrogate.

Amazingly, the male couple together share biological fatherhood as DNA from both was used.

In another strange twist, the new parents, who were neighbours of former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius, only met their surrogate because of the athlete’s murder trial.

Christo and Theo Menelaou have now taken their babies home to Pretoria, after spending a nerve-wracking three-weeks in hospital. When they were delivered prematurely at just over 31 weeks on the 2nd of July.

Joshua was the first triplet born by caesarean and was the heaviest, weighing 4lbs, Zoe came next, and weighing 3.1lbs, and finally little Kate followed, weighing a miniscule 2.9lbs.

The miracle babies were put on breathing apparatus and continually monitored until they were considered strong enough to leave Sunninghill Hospital, Johannesburg.

The tiny tots went home separately, with Joshua being the first discharged on 22 July. Zoe left 10 days later, followed by her twin Kate, on 4 August.

Christo Menelaou told Sky News: "When you are gay, there is always the thought that it just may not be possible to be a parent no matter how much you would love to be.

"It's very hard to be accepted for adoption and we were told we would always come after heterosexual couples. And then we just never thought we'd ever find a person who would want to be surrogate to a gay couple."

However, a mother-of-three, whom they encountered through the Pistorius murder trial, agreed to act as their surrogate.

South Africa's strict laws on surrogacy meant both men, their surrogate and their surrogate's husband had to sign a contract and appear before a judge to insist they all agreed and were willing participants and that no money would be exchanged, aside from expenses.

The couple then went to an egg bank to choose their eggs before one embryo fertilised with Christo's sperm was implanted in the surrogate's womb alongside another embryo fertilised with Theo's sperm.

However, 10 weeks into the pregnancy, a scan revealed that one of the embryos had split and the surrogate was now bearing triplets two of which would be identical twins.

While many doctors advised both the couple and the surrogate to terminate two of the babies to give the third a better chance of survival, they were finally able to find a gynaecologist who would help them deliver all three babies.

Dr Heidra Dahms, the gynaecologist at Sunninghill Hospital who delivered the babies, told Sky News: "It is extremely rare. I have never heard of this before."

With the babies being so tiny, at first their lungs needed extra help to breathe and Theo slept in the hospital by their bedside until they got stronger.

Even so, the couple also face the challenge of Zoe needing surgery on a heart defect which needs to be carried out within six months.

However, at this moment in time, the couple are busy celebrating the fatherhood that they never thought they would be able to enjoy.

They are currently caring for the triplets at their own home with the help of two nurses who are with them night and day and each baby is still fitted with a monitor which sounds an alarm if they stop breathing.

Theo said: "We have to gently massage their backs, or tickle their toes just to remind them to take a breath.

"We feel so blessed. We really do."

2 comments:

  1. Why look for somebody to carry your pregnancy when you have a wife? Nonsense

    ReplyDelete