Scandinavian national Haseena Alkureshi (name changed) had no hope of having a biological child, owing to her unusually small uterus, which was the size of a grape.
However, a month ago, the 36-year-old homemaker became the proud mother of twin girls, born to an Indian surrogate in a fertility centre at Thane.
“After 19 years of marriage, we were desperate for a child. I knew that I could not conceive, but every time I consulted a specialist, I would hope to hear something positive,” she said.
In 1999, Haseena had undergone telescopic assessment of her uterus, to gauge her chances of pregnancy. The tests, however, ruled out any possibility. “We came to the conclusion that surrogacy was our only option,” said Haseena’s husband, Feroz, 42, who works in a travel company.
Internet searches that India was the best option for such infertility treatment. “Still, it took us almost two years to mentally prepare ourselves,” he added.
Haseena and Feroz came to India last April, after consulting more than five infertility specialists in different countries.
A birth defect had left Haseena with a uterus that was only 2.5x1.5 cm in size. “A normal uterus is 7.5X5.5 cm in size. Her uterus and vagina were underdeveloped owing to which she never had periods and was unable to conceive,” said Dr Sandeep Mane of the Origin Fertility Centre, Thane.
Doing the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment was a challenge for the doctors. The fact that she did not menstruate made it difficult to determine the stages of her hormonal cycle, which had to be monitored through blood tests.
“This added uncertainty to the IVF treatment, because other than blood tests, there was no other way to understand whether advanced treatment could be started,” said Dr Mane.
Haseena’s ovaries appeared as though they may yield eggs, so she was given injections to stimulate egg production. “From the nine eggs collected from her ovaries, five embryos were developed and then cultured. Meanwhile, the surrogate mother was prepared for the embryo transfer,” he added.
Over the next nine-months, the couple exchanged numerous emails and anxious phone calls with the surrogate mother, to get updates about their babies.
In March, a few days before the twins were born, they flew down to Mumbai.
“When we first saw our babies, we forgot all the difficulty and pain we endured in the last 19 years. Now, we will begin our life afresh,” said an elated Haseena, who is now busy completing the visa process, to take her twins home.