A message of hope for those struggling with infertility


by Grace Glausier

Jan 9, 2019

Talking to the parents of the first baby born in the U.S. after a uterus transplant, you wouldn’t know they were part of a major medical milestone in a landmark clinical trial. They’re just like any other set of parents — overjoyed and in love with their precious baby boy, who recently celebrated his first birthday.

But for this couple, it was a long and winding journey to parenthood.

At 16 years old, this mother heard a diagnosis that would change her life: Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome. This congenital disorder affects a woman’s reproductive tract and causes absolute uterine factor infertility, meaning she is born without a uterus or with an underdeveloped one. For most women diagnosed with MRKH, carrying a pregnancy is impossible. MRKH affects approximately one in every 4,500 women. Those women who have been told they can never carry a child are the reason these parents are sharing their story with the world today.

“I just thought, if we can do this and be a part of something so life-changing, then one day, the 16-year-old girl who is getting that diagnosis doesn’t ever have to hear what I heard,” the mom said. “That’s huge. They have this hope now.”

Today, when a teenage girl hears that diagnosis and starts googling MRKH, she’ll see something other than a long list of “no’s.” She’ll see a birth announcement and photos of a sweet, healthy baby boy.

To those young girls and to other families struggling with infertility, this mom has one message: “Don’t give up on yourself.”

The couple faced struggles and frustrations over the years, but after they reached out to the team at Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health, on Mother’s Day in 2016, all the pieces started falling into place. They received a response that same night and before they knew it, they were going through the steps, from screening to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), transplantation and implantation.

“It went from never, never, never — to now,” the dad said.

They welcomed their long-awaited miracle son in November 2017 at Baylor University Medical Center. Today, they are embracing the joys and trials of parenthood like any other set of parents. For that, there is a long list of people to thank, including the physicians, nurses and surgeons who have become like family —  and above all, the donor who gave them this selfless gift.

Related: Uterus transplant: Once a dream, now reality

“It’s the most meaningful, incredible gift that you could ever give someone,” the dad said. “It’s not just giving an organ. It’s giving that hope that we never had.”

“It’s the most meaningful, incredible gift that you could ever give someone,” the dad said. “It’s not just giving an organ. It’s giving that hope that we never had.”

“She gave us the most beautiful gift that we could have ever asked for,” the mom added.

They know a uterus transplant will not be the solution to everyone’s fertility struggles, but for the young girls being diagnosed with MRKH every day, this is a glimmer of hope that they didn’t have before.

“To be able to see how much hope this gives to other people who have a similar diagnosis or anybody struggling with infertility is incredible,” the dad said. “And to think that we could help play a little part in that is amazing.”

All along the way, they refused to give up. They took every “no” and fought back, daring to reach for something more.

“I want people to get hope from our story, whatever they’re struggling with, infertility or anything else in their life,” the mom said. “We were told an absolute ‘no’ by a lot of different people at a lot of different times in our lives. Hearing no and accepting it is one thing. Hearing no and still reaching for what you want is different.”

Hope. That’s the message these parents want to share — that no matter how bleak it may seem, there is always hope.

Read more about this family’s story, as featured in Time magazine.

Learn more about the uterus transplant clinical trial at Baylor University Medical Center, part of Baylor Scott & White Health.

About the Author

Grace Glausier is the manager of digital content strategy for Baylor Scott and White Health. A graduate of Baylor University, she is passionate about connecting people through powerful stories and empowering individuals toward better health.

More topics to explore

We make it easy.

Healthcare doesn't have to be difficult. We're constantly finding ways to make it easy so that you can get Better and stay that way.

Better tools make it easier

We all have different healthcare needs. Handle them your way with the MyBSWHealth app. Download the app today and take a hands-on approach to your healthcare.

Text Better to 88408