The first woman to give birth by way of a uterus transplant in the United States has just welcomed a healthy child. A total of eight other babies have been born to women with uterus transplants, according to the New York Times, but all of those births occurred in Sweden — making this baby a breakthrough for doctors in the U.S.
The family has asked to remain anonymous. The Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, where the baby was born, disclosed that the woman gave birth to a baby boy.
She was part of a clinical trial at the Dallas hospital, along with seven other women. She is the first to give birth and one other woman is currently pregnant. Two others are trying to conceive and four of the other transplants failed after surgery and had to be removed, the New York Times reported.
— Baylor Scott & White (@bswhealth) December 1, 2017
A uterus transplant is a complicated procedure for both recipient and donor, in which a uterus is temporarily placed in the recipient’s body and IVF is administered. Still, it could be an answer for many women who have become infertile due to the a non-functioning uterus, removal of their uterus due to cancer, illness or complications during childbirth, or — like the woman who’s just given birth — because they were born without a uterus.
According to Dr. Robert Gunby, who delivered the baby, this birth was a special one.
“I have delivered thousands of babies,” he said at a press conference, in which he got teary-eyed. “And every single one is very exciting, but there was something about this that was so special because the patients are so excited. What they’re willing to go through to get to this point is just overwhelming to me. This was a very special event.”
This historic birth gives renewed hope for how people who want to become parents might realize their dream.
A doctor from the team, Liza Johannesson, an OB/GYN and uterus transplant surgeon at Baylor told Time, “We’ve been preparing for this moment for a very long time. I think everyone had tears in their eyes when the baby came out. I did for sure.”
Baby is first to be born in US after uterus transplant: http://go.redirectingat.com/?id=88890X1542043&url=https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FUYdchRIX7X pic.twitter.com/bw5v4NPDyP
— CNN Health (@cnnhealth) December 4, 2017
The donor of the uterus and the new mother have never met, but the two have communicated via handwritten letters throughout the process — once before the uterus transplant, and once when the recipient found out she was pregnant.
The hospital informed the donor, Taylor Siler, 36, of the baby’s birth. Her response is touching.
“I’ve just been crying and getting teary thinking about it, “ Siler told Time. “I think about her every day and I probably will for the rest of my life.”
Whether or not these women ever meet, they share a special bond. As Dr. Giuliano Testa, the leader of the clinical trial, put it to Time,“When you donate a kidney, you do it to help someone live longer and get off dialysis. For these women, they are donating an experience.”
According to Baylor University Medical Center’s official blog, the parents of the baby boy released this statement:
“Last month, with the help of Baylor Scott & White, we were able to add a beautiful baby boy to our family after a successful uterine transplant. We consider ourselves profoundly blessed to have been a part of this study, and we are optimistic that this initial success will lead to many more in the future. We humbly hope that our little boy can serve as an inspiration to those struggling with infertility, and demonstrate throughout his life that no matter what obstacles are in your path, with the right team working beside you, anything is possible.”
Here’s to the successful birth of one baby and hoping that there are many more to come!