Toowoomba mum gives birth to her own niece
A TOOWOOMBA mum gave birth to her niece to give her sister the chance to become a mother.
Shayna Wiffen, 24, watched her sister Aimee Morrisby struggle to conceive her own child for years after Aimee was born with Hirschsprung disease, a blockage of the large intestine present from birth.
At just 26, Aimee had endured about 40 surgeries relating to her disease and nine failed IVF attempts, with surgeons even attempting to fix the problem.
"They told her she wouldn't be able to have children herself and that was pretty heartbreaking," Mrs Wiffin said.
Mrs Wiffen, a mother to McKenzie, 4, and Fletcher, 2, decided to offer to become a surrogate for her sister and brother-in-law Jake.
"I think I told her I would do it in March, 2015. I had to think about how my children would handle it and obviously I had a good talk to my four-year-old to see what her understanding was like and a big talk to my husband Aaron about it," she said.
"When I told her I think she was just shocked and didn't know what to say. She just wanted to make sure I was sure and didn't want to get excited about it.
"It took me a long time to get my head around it and I honestly didn't see myself doing it. I had always hoped Aimee would be able to."
Mrs Wiffen said to undertake the surrogacy they had to go through lawyers and counselling sessions.
"Once everything was approved I had to start the medication, that took a few weeks, and then we had our first transfer done," she said.
"The first was unsuccessful and resulted in early miscarriage but the next try weeks later was successful."
Mrs Wiffen said she and Aimee were lucky enough to find out the attempt had been successful after just three days, using a home pregnancy kit.
"If we didn't see each other every day we would speak on the phone. She was at every appointment and every scan. She was very hands-on," she said.
Mrs Wiffen said she always saw the baby as her niece and would sometimes forget she was pregnant and instead think her sister was expecting.
She credited My Midwives Toowoomba for supporting her and Aimee and making Aimee feel as though it was her pregnancy.
Francesca Louise Morrisby was born via a water birth on March 18 this year weighing 3.4kg. Louise is also Mrs Wiffen's middle name.
"I handed Francesca to Jake and he cut the cord," she said.
"It was a very nice moment and he bonded with her straight away."
Aimee and Jake moved from the Gold Coast to Toowoomba when Mrs Wiffen became pregnant and now live here permanently.
Mrs Wiffen said they were now in the process of going through the courts to make the parentage official.
"Every time I see her (Francesca) I feel like I do have that special bond and attachment," Mrs Wiffen said.