THAT'S OUR BABY; the First Heartbeat of the Baby Edith Jones Is Bearing for Her Own Daughter `the Baby Is Susanne's, I Am Just Lending Her My Body'

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), May 12, 1996 | Go to article overview

THAT'S OUR BABY; the First Heartbeat of the Baby Edith Jones Is Bearing for Her Own Daughter `the Baby Is Susanne's, I Am Just Lending Her My Body'


Byline: LORRAINE FRASER

IT IS a sight expectant parents treasure for ever. That first ultrasound scan - the visual proof that the baby they have longed for really does exist.

But for Susanne and Chris Langston and Susanne's parents, Edith and Trevor Jones, this was a moment of extraordinary poignancy.

In the dimly lit ultrasound room of the BMI Park Hospital in Nottingham, all four peered at the screen as Dr Fiona Robinson pointed to the unmistakable confirmation that Britain's first `surrogate grand-mother' is carrying her daughter and son-in-law's child.

Ecstatic, they stared at the picture of Susanne and Chris's baby, still only 18 millimetres long; incredulous to see its tiny heart beating rhythmically in the safety of Edith's womb.

Their mutual delight was beyond words. After months of treatment and years despairing that she would never be able to have a child, Susanne, 21, glowed with joy.

Three weeks ago, as revealed in The Mail on Sunday, a medical test had shown Edith, from Darlington, County Durham, was pregnant after in-vitro fertilisation treatment at the hospital.

Now this shimmering glimpse of her baby was living proof that Susanne is to be a mother.

She said: `I do not know how to say how much I think of my mother for doing this for Chris and me. She is a wonderful woman.

`I knew my mother was pregnant but it seemed hard to believe. It was just amazing to see the baby for the first time and to see its little heart beating. I am thrilled.'

Edith, who will be 51 when she gives birth, said: `I never had any doubts I was pregnant, even from day one. I am just happy for Susanne and Chris that the treatment has worked first time.

`I cannot thank the Park Hospital and all the staff in the infertility unit enough for what they have done for us and for the tremendous support they have given us.'

Edith, if all continues to go well, will make medical history when she gives birth in December, as the first woman in Britain to be a `host surrogate' to her own grandchild.

THE WORLD'S first surrogate grandmother, 56-year-old Pat Anthony from South Africa, gave birth to triplets for her daughter in 1987.

Edith offered to help Susanne when doctors confirmed that, even though she has healthy ovaries, Susanne was born without a womb; only through surrogacy could she have a child.

Six weeks ago, John Webster, director of infertility services at the Park Hospital, gently implanted two embryos made from Susanne's eggs and Chris's sperm into Edith.

Three other perfect embryos were frozen, giving the young couple a second and maybe even a third chance of a child.

The family had secretly hoped for twins - a ready-made family for Susanne and Chris in one go - but any twinge of disappointment they may have felt last week was shortlived.

Chris, 23, said: `In our hearts we had hoped for two but this is better for Edith and for us. Going from no babies to two is quite a jump for anyone. This way we can get settled and get a little more security behind us and maybe later someone else will help us try again.'

The Park Hospital's Ethics Committee approved the treatment last year. …

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THAT'S OUR BABY; the First Heartbeat of the Baby Edith Jones Is Bearing for Her Own Daughter `the Baby Is Susanne's, I Am Just Lending Her My Body'
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