Surrogate mother to deliver twin boys to friend
by Samara Postuma
Cathy Denker, of Rogers, and Laura Dumont, of Robbinsdale, had no idea that their friendship, formed 8 years ago, would lead to Denker carrying Dumont and her husband, Chris’ twins.
“I mean how could we have known,” Denker said.
“We’ve had so many similarities in our lives and friendship,” Dumont explained. “But I never would have guessed.”
Laura Dumont, a stay at home mom, and Chris Dumont, an engineer at General Mills, have two 5 year old twins, Charlie and Sophie, and have wanted to add to their family. The couple went through several rounds of “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) to conceive the twins and experienced several losses along the way. In December 2010, the couple was thrilled to find out they were expecting again. All on their own.
“After going through infertility, to be pregnant on our own seemed like a miracle,” Dumont said.
But on July 1, 2011, at 41 weeks after an 18 hour labor, Dumont delivered Mila Louise who would never take her first breath. She was stillborn. Both Dumont and Mila had contracted an infection that took Mila’s life and almost took Dumont’s. “I was hemorrhaging and they did an emergency hysterectomy and then put me in a drug induced coma for 12 days,” she said.
“It was a very dark time,” Chris Dumont said, speaking of the loss of his newborn daughter, the fear he felt about possibly losing his wife and the reality of having to still manage his emotions and take care of their then 4 year old twins.
After 19 days in the hospital, Laura Dumont was released and began the long and daunting process of grieving not only the loss of her baby but also the ability to have another baby on her own.
“I knew we wanted more kids and it felt like it had just been taken from me,” she said.
By December, the couple had decided they wanted to look into their options for expanding their family and having a biological baby of their own. While Dumont’s uterus was taken, her ovaries were not and she knew that with a surrogate the two could still have a child of their own. However, finding a surrogate was another story.
“We assumed we would have to choose and hire a woman to become our surrogate but hadn’t even begun the process of that before I talked to Denker,” Laura Dumont said.
One night after an event at church the ladies were chatting and Laura Dumont mentioned that she and Chris had decided to pursue having a baby through surrogacy. Denker immediately offered to do it.
“From the day I found out she lost her uterus, I wanted to do this” Denker said. Denker, a stay at home mom and her husband, an engineer, Brian, have three daughters and had also gone through infertility treatments to conceive their 7 year old twins.
Both women agreed to go back and talk to their husbands and that if this were the route they would take they would not force it, if any doors closed, it wasn’t meant to be.
Instead of doors closing, the two couples found nothing but open doors.
“I know my wife well enough and knew better than to get in the way of this,” Brian Denker said. “I was concerned about her health [Cathy Denker turns 40 next month] but had said if that’s what you want to do I can’t think of a good reason not to even if it is a sacrifice for all of us,” he added.
“I saw my first glimmer of hope and genuine happiness that night,” Chris Dumont said of his wife as she talked about the possibility of Cathy Denker carrying a baby for them.
Together the four began the process of surrogacy. “We wanted to do it the appropriate way,” Laura Dumont said as she talked about the legal, financial and medical aspects of the process.
In the end, of Dumont’s nine eggs, there were nine embryos but by day five they were down to two.
“We were devastated knowing that this was our last shot, we wouldn’t have any more embryos to freeze,” Laura Dumont said.
The embryos were transferred to Denker and both stuck, meaning not only were the Duponts going to have one baby but twins. Two boys.
Due in June, Denker has had a textbook pregnancy with the twin boys. “I had pre-term labor and was on bed rest when I was pregnant with my twins and this time has been completely different,” Denker said. “It’s just been very apparent throughout the entire process that his was meant to be, we haven’t been met with roadblocks and the fact that the pregnancy has gone so well is just another sign that this was meant to be and that God has paved the way,” she added.
Both women say faith has played a huge part in the process and both women wear matching necklaces that read, “be willing to believe in impossible miracles.”
“I’m balancing grief and hope and I’ve really had to surrender that I am not in control,” Dumont said. “We are cautiously optimistic but so grateful,” she said of the gift Denker is giving her family.
Denker is currently 32 weeks pregnant with the boys and doctors are hoping she will deliver the boys in the middle to end of May. Once the boys are born custody will be granted to Chris and Dumont immediately followed by a guardianship hearing at Hennepin County Family Court.