What may sound like a country song is true. About three weeks ago, on August 17, Madden Brian Hebert was born. Madden acts like a typical week-old baby but his origins are anything but typical. The woman who gave birth to Madden was his maternal grandmother, Linda Sirois.
The son of 25-year-old Angel Hebert and 29-year-old Brian Hebert, Angel was told by doctors that her heart condition would make a pregnancy all but impossible. Sirois had told her daughter for years that she would be a surrogate for her, if she'd needed. But the Heberts did not take her seriously at first. Finally, thinking that they were going to be childless, Hebert asked her mother if she would be a surrogate last year. According to the Portland Press Herald, Angel Hebert said, "I called her last summer and I'm like, 'So, you know that offer you've been offering? Is that offer still on the table?'"
It was. Her mother responded by calling several area fertility clinics. Most rejected her for her age; Sirois is 49 years old. But finally, the Reproductive Science Center in Lexington, Massachusetts agreed. Sirois needed to be screened with a number of tests to determine whether her health was good enough to carry a child, but eventually she was cleared.
Sirois noted that it was not unusual for grandmothers to surrogate for their own grandchildren. She cited a case of a 60-year-old woman who had done so. In fact, the fertility clinic seemed unfazed by the ordeal, and treated them as very normal. "I couldn't see them going through life without a child, while I am capable of helping them," she said to the Bangor Daily News.
Last November, doctors created an embryo using an egg from Angel and sperm from Brian. They implanted the egg in Linda using in vitro fertilization. On December 14, Sirois took a pregnancy test that came up positive. For the first time in twenty years, she was pregnant, and she reported it as the easiest pregnancy that she'd had. There were no complications or even morning sickness.
Interestingly, Sirois' eldest daughter, the 26-year-old Kristal Duval, was also pregnant during the same time. Her own son, the Sirois' first grandchild, was born on June 9.
Earlier this month, Madden Brian Hebert was born via caesarean section, and all members of the family are doing fine.
"I just saw it as I was babysitting for a few months," Sirois said. "It was their child all along. It was just a room for rent."