After 9 Miscarriages, This Woman's Sister Gave Her the Ultimate Gift

Melissa Kayser

A miscarriage is a heartbreaking loss for anyone who's longed to be a parent. But, after coping with nine devastating losses, Melissa Kayser was struggling to hold on to the hope that she'd someday become a mom -- that is, until her older sister, Lisa Auten, bravely stepped in and offered to be her surrogate.


Kayser says she tried to conceive for nearly three years before doctors suggested going a different route and having someone else carry her baby. "After my reproductive specialist advised us that we should probably consider using a surrogate, I was telling my family about the situation and my sister jokingly said that she would lend us her uterus," Kayser tells CafeMom.

Melissa Kayser Lisa Auten
Melissa Kayser

Still, Kayser wasn't ready to make a decision. She told Inside Edition, "I was devastated because you think as women we are literally born to do one thing and that's to reproduce and when you can't do that one thing you feel like a failure. I didn't know if I could emotionally handle another woman being able to carry my child."

More from CafeMom: 15 Things You Should Stop Saying to Women Facing Infertility

Ultimately, Kayser and her husband decided to go ahead with using a surrogate, and when Lisa doubled down on her offer, they didn't think twice about choosing her. "It was an easy decision for us because I trust my sister more than anyone in the world," Kayser tells CafeMom.

Doctors implanted two embryos in Lisa's uterus, though they warned Kayser and her sister that one embryo was weaker than the other and there was no guarantee of success. That made it all the more surprising and special when they found out Lisa was pregnant with not one, but two healthy babies.

Sister surrogate
Melissa Kayser

She went on to have a healthy pregnancy, and Kayser got to be by her sister's side every step of the way. They even attended ultrasound appointments together and had a gender reveal party. "The experience was wonderful," Kayser tells CafeMom. "I still battled emotions about not being able to carry my own child but I was so excited to be involved in all the appointments and milestones."

More from CafeMom: New Mom Shares the Heartbreaking Time She Miscarried on Live TV

Kayser's beautiful twin girls, Ashlynn and Tierney, were born a little over six weeks ago. They had to spend some time in the NICU, as they arrived early, but Kayser says the babies are doing great.

Melissa Kayser

"The birth experience was a huge range of emotions," she tells CafeMom. "I was scared because they were coming via emergency C-section, but I was also so excited to meet my baby girls! I had waited so long to become a mother and it felt surreal that it was finally happening."

Although Kayser is the twins' biological mother, she's been met with a bit of resistance in making everything official. In Nebraska, where both Kasyer and her sister live, Lisa had to be automatically listed on the birth certificate as the girls' mother when they were born, per state law. When the girls are 6 months old, Lisa can relinquish her parental rights to allow Kayser to "adopt" her babies. It's a hurdle that is more than worth it for the two sisters. 

Melissa Kayser

While Lisa doesn't actually want any children of her own, she told Inside Edition it was a beautiful gift to be able to help her sister finally become a mom. "I couldn't stand watching Melissa go through loss after loss," she said. "She hurt so badly and she just wanted a child so bad. If I could help give her a family, then I was going to do it."

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