-- A 54-year-old Texas woman gave birth Wednesday to her granddaughter after acting as a surrogate for her 28-year-old daughter.
The newborn’s name, Kelcey, is a combination of the two women who brought her into the world -- her grandmother, Tracey Thompson, and her mom, Kelley McKissack.
“It was amazing,” McKissack said today at a news conference of Kelcey's birth, for which she was in the delivery room to watch. “Seeing my daughter being born is the most perfect gift ever.”
McKissack and her husband, Aaron McKissack, struggled for three years to have a baby on their own, according to the Medical Center of Plano, where Kelcey was born Wednesday afternoon via Caesarean section.
After Kelley McKissack’s third miscarriage last year, her mom, Thompson, offered to serve as her surrogate.
"Believe it or not, it came up when she was 13," Thompson said of her daughter's uncanny forecasting of the event. "When she was a teenager, she said, 'Mom, if I can’t carry my own baby, would you carry my baby?' I said, 'Of course,' not dreaming that I would be doing it."
McKissack said, "I remember the conversation but I don’t know what brought it up. I knew I always wanted babies."
Thompson, who is also the mother of a 30-year-old son, in addition to Kelley, and a grandmother to a 3-year-old, became pregnant in April with one of the McKissack’s four embryos remaining from their final round of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
"She’s a special kind of woman," McKissack said of her mom. "She’s strong. I don’t think many people could do what she did with all that she had to go through to get there."
McKissack and Thompson who live just 20 minutes away from each other in neighboring Texas towns, treated the pregnancy as if it were McKissack who was pregnant, with the daughter attending all her mom's doctor appointments.
"It was difficult," Thompson said of the pregnancy. "I wasn’t 20-years-old and pregnant. The therapy that I had to go through wasn’t a piece of cake."
McKissack was in the delivery room with her mom Wednesday, a moment she says she will never forget.
“It was amazing,” she said. “Seeing my daughter being born is the most perfect gift ever.”
Baby Kelcey and grandmother are both doing fine after the delivery, the hospital reports. Kelcey weighed in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces.
"We had a very special pregnancy and a special delivery and it couldn’t have worked out much better in the end,” Dr. Joseph Leveno, the obstetrician-gynecologist on staff at the Medical Center of Plano who delivered Kelcey, said at today's news conference.
Thompson credits her own optimism and her support system -- including her husband, Ben, who was also in the delivery room -- with getting her through the unlikely pregnancy.
"Attitude has a whole lot to do with it," she said. "I’m a very positive person and always have been. I put my life in God’s hands and he takes care of me."
The family says they plan to have Kelcey call Thompson the traditional "Grandma," and they plan to tell her everything she wants to know about the special way she came into the world.
"We want her to know exactly how it happened and for it just to be normal for her," McKissack said. "She should know just how special and wanted she is."