Melinda Arnold, 34, was born without a womb. For years she and her husband have tried to fulfill their dream of becoming parents through IVF, adoption, and three surrogate attempts to no avail. Instead of giving up, she's instead planning to undergo a groundbreaking procedure in which her own mother's womb will be transplanted into her body.
The nurse from Melbourne, Australia, will be the country's first woman to undergo such a procedure and one of the first few in the world. It's planned for early next year in Sweden and isn't without risk or controversy, but is driven by love.
It's amazing to think that the very womb one came from could be used to birth one's own child. What a beautiful testament of a mother's devotion. We all say we would put down our lives for our kids, but would we be willing to undergo such a major surgery (her mother, Denise Allen, will have to undergo a full hysterectomy) to help them fulfill one of their dreams?
While part of me questions if it's really worth the risk of two major operations just on the chance that it might someday result in a live birth, I don't question one's desperate need to have a child. If they hadn't attempted adoption, that would be one thing, but if even that failed, then I can imagine how such a risk becomes less about what might happen and more about what might not.
She has been dreaming of being a mother since she was 3 and told The Australian she would never forgive herself if she didn't at least try this surgery:
I know some people see this as risky. If I had a child I would never take that risk, but I don't.
Doctors say after the surgery, she'll need to wait 12 months before trying to conceive. Then they can attempt IVF again. Hopefully, it will result in the baby she so desperately wants and who will surely have the most devoted grandmother in the world.
What do you think of womb transplants? Would you donate your womb to your daughter?
Image via surlygirl/Flickr