Courtney Macropolous and her husband Stephan were shocked when doctors questioned whether the couple had even considered harvesting Courtney’s reproductive eggs.
After a diagnosis of breast cancer in 2011, the young couple was focusing on Courtney’s treatment and recovery, not having a family, although that was something they both wanted.
Courtney began the process of collecting and freezing her eggs.
Once Danielle Motta, Courtney’s twin sister, heard the news, she automatically offered to act as a surrogate for Courtney and Stephan.
On Aug. 4, Danielle gave birth to Courtney and Stephan’s child.
“Danielle made things so easy for us. We never had to choose between fighting my cancer or having a family,” Courtney said.
Surrogacy became a topic, although Courtney is in remission. Carrying her own child could still prove dangerous with the medication she is on. Conversations became more serious and then Danielle began the process to carry her sister’s child.
Stephan said, “Pregnancy is not easy, this was going to affect her throughout her daily life and she has two kids of her own and she was still willing to move forward to give us the chance to have a happy family. We have so much gratitude and appreciation toward Danielle; there is no way to repay her or thank her enough for this.”
“It was a beautifully humbling experience,” Danielle said. “I am proud of what I could do for my sister. I see every day how happy Isabel makes her and Stephan happy. She was always theirs.”
Danielle said that although she loves her niece, Isabel never felt like it was her own child.
Danielle’s own two children, her eldest Mackenzie, and Benjamin, understood that the “baby in mommy’s belly” was their aunt’s.
Courtney said, “From the very beginning we explained to Danielle’s kids and at first Mackenzie [who was nearly 5 at the time] said it was ‘weird,’ but she quickly came around. The kids were involved, too; they came to a few ultrasound appointments to meet their cousin.”
“Because they are so young, the answers to the questions were simple and innocent. They are so happy to be big cousins now,” Danielle said.
Danielle’s children weren’t the only big supporters of Danielle and Courtney.
Eric Motta, Danielle’s husband, lovingly supported both his wife and sister-in-law in the surrogacy endeavor.
Danielle said, “He was a part of this from day one until the end.”
The twins said that neighbors, co-workers, friends and family were all supportive throughout the process.
“People reached out to us who wanted to know about it and others were just happy to have had a small part in everything,” Courtney said. “Sometimes whoever we were talking to would become emotional for us, beginning to cry and smile.”
Danielle said, “I had people tell me how proud they were of me. They would tell me I was an angel for helping my sister like this, but I knew I was going to do whatever I could for her when she was first diagnosed. It has been surreal; there are just so many happy emotions.”
Last September, the trio had tried in vitro fertilization, but the eggs didn’t take. When they tried again in November, it was a success.
“Some people don’t realize how hard it can be to have a child,” Stephan said. “You can’t take your family for granted. Especially when it didn’t take the first time. We know Isabel is a miracle.”
The couple was ecstatic when they first saw their baby girl and have quickly come to love parenthood.
“We were more than ready to have Isabel in our lives; we were so ready for her to be ours” Courtney said. “Being a mother feels so natural. We are so blessed and I am so thankful to Danielle. There aren’t enough words to express how much. This is a new and amazing chapter for our family.”