Shaniece Sturdy decided early on in life that she wanted to become a surrogate mother to help couples struggling to conceive. When the opportunity presented itself, she got much more than she initially bargained for.
By the age of 21, the British native had already given birth to her own son. Then, after researching the surrogacy process, Sturdy connected with a young couple in Los Angeles. The embryo was successfully implanted during a procedure at a clinic– but as the pregnancy began revealing itself, Sturdy noticed her “baby bump” was unusually large.
That mystery was resolved during her first ultrasound, when midwives revealed that she was carrying not one, but two, embryos. Twins!
Then came another shocker at the 10-week mark: The first ultrasound had failed to reveal a third little body growing in Sturdy’s womb.
“I was now expecting triplets and at just a few months pregnant, I was already bigger than I had been with Rylee at eight months – I looked huge,” she said.
A Caesarean section was scheduled, but that plan fell by the wayside when Sturdy went into labor on Halloween. The two girls and boy – Willow, Daisy and Harrison – were “all perfectly fine” after spending two weeks in the hospital, said Sturdy, who visits the triplets each year on their birthday. Sturdy, now 24, is the UK’s youngest surrogate.
“I always get so emotional when I see them, not because I miss them or want more children of my own but because I’m so happy that I was part of their journey,” she added. “I think a lot of people presume you have to use your own eggs when you’re a surrogate, but that’s not the case at all.”